he Presidency has refuted any secret recruitment of children and close pals of government functionaries at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.
It also explained the reason behind the exclusion of the private sector in the current Economic Management Team headed by the Vice President Yemi Osinabjo as was hitherto the case.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande refuted the claims, describing them as untrue.
He rather stated that the government was sanitizing the recruitment process and indeed, the public service systems to make them more transparent.
“These reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop going forward in more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.
On the economic team, Akande said that it was government responsibility to take on the economy.
“We have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility. It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with.
“So, our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” he added.
“For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). There have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies, making presentations.
“But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on. After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan which was produced in a reader friendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what Economic Management Team does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the Central Bank which is an economic arm of government,” he said.
Asked when the nation would begin to feel the impact of the economic team and indeed the first fruit of the regime, Akande said that the government of president Buhari was committed to charting a new way forward for the country.
“As much as we try not to say this, we know as a matter of fact that members of the past administration, most of them have come out to say they did not save for the rainy day. So we are dealing mostly with situations that have been caused even before this administration took over power.
“The President and his team have worked hard and planned not only to save cost, not only to tighten public expenditure but to also diversify the economy like never before. So we are sure and we believe that going forward, things will begin to pick up again. It is taking a while because of the extent of the damage.
“The first fruit is already in place because we have started rebuilding. I think to some extent, that question presupposes that building is still continuing, no! The rebuilding of the resources of this country that had stopped. I believe that a huge factor in the way Nigeria is today economically is corruption.
“We can’t run away from that and the President has made it clear and I think everyone in the country now understands that and it is not going to continue. Effectively, he has reduced the corruption in Nigeria”, he said.