The Federal Government’s Economic Management Team has held what it called a consultative forum with a team of economic and financial experts across the country.
The meeting was meant to enable the team, which consists of government officials only, to engage the experts on how to address the challenges facing the country’s economy, which is currently in recession.
At the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, suggestions on how best to reflate the economy, bring it out of recession and promptly restore growth featured prominently on the agenda.
According to a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Laolu Akande, the vice president was said to have expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to continuously consider and adopt policies that would boost business, increase employment and provide succour to the poor and the disadvantaged.
Osinbajo was quoted as saying, “We will continue to engage with experts and other stakeholders so that we can measure the progress of the economic policies that have been put in place. The challenges are many but the opportunities are much greater.
“We are clearly on the path to building an economy that will create jobs and ensure inclusive growth.”
Experts who attended the four-hour special meeting included Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Mr. Bode Augusto, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Dr. Ayo Teriba and Prof. Badayi Sani.
Issues discussed at the meeting included the review of the new foreign exchange regime and its effect on the economy as well as the draft Medium Term Economic Framework for 2017-2019.
Akande said the EMT members and the experts made suggestions on how to reflate the economy, especially through massive infrastructural spending, with active private sector participation, ensure pro-people economic policies, and increase the supply of dollars to the forex market, among others.
Speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, the Minister for Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said, “We have just finished a special meeting of the economic management team; as you know, we are in the middle of consultations to develop the new mid-term economic framework.
“The meeting is part of a comprehensive consultation process that we are embarking on to make sure that we reach out to a wide spectrum of Nigerians to get a feedback in terms of how best to make sure that we come out of this recession.”