President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday in Abuja set a new agenda for the new economic team minutes after administering oaths of office on members of the newly-constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC).
Speaking at a meeting with the 8-man Council chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami, President Buhari charged them to focus on developing reliable data that will properly reflect what is happening in the country.
‘‘We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As you are aware, as a government, we prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to our rural communities.
The President also used the occasion to set agenda and expectations from the Council, constituted on September 16, 2019, to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT).
On the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the President told members that his administration was working to measure the impact of the programme targeted at improving the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens.
As such, the President said he had directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.
‘‘Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the North East. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact.
‘‘In 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.
The President directed the Council to coordinate and synthesize ideas and efforts on how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, working in collaboration with various employment generating agencies of government.
He also assured the Council that the Federal Government will ensure that all their needs and requests were met before the next technical sessions in November.
He said all key ministries, departments and agencies will be available to meet and discuss with them how to collectively build a new Nigeria that caters for all.
”Now, no one person or a group of persons has a monopoly of knowledge or wisdom or patriotism.
”In the circumstances, you may feel free to co-opt, consult and defer to any knowledgeable person if in your opinion such a move enriches your deliberations and add to the quality of your decisions, ” he said.
Chairman of Council, Professor Salami, said the mandate was about “Nigeria first, Nigeria second, and Nigeria always,” adding that it was about Nigerians, not as numbers, but as people.
He added: “Our goal is that the economy grows in a manner that is rapid, inclusive, sustained and sustainable so that Nigerians will feel the impact.