President Muhammadu Buhari has frowned at “lapses in coordination” between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), warning that this would no longer be accepted.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari gave the warning at a meeting with members of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), led by Prof. Doyin Salami at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.

The presidential aide said the president’s warning came after he listened to the eight-member council’s report of macroeconomic importance and their views and recommendations.

Buhari gave firm commitments that his administration would be bound by their advice on economy related matters.

He, therefore, directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to immediately address the observed lapses in coordination between ministries and all agencies of government.

“The lack of synergy between ministries, departments and agencies would no longer be accepted.

”We are working for the country, not for personal interests. We have the same objective of service to the people and we will resolve this,” the president said.

While reviewing the work of the Council since its inauguration to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT), he said:

“I am highly pleased based on what I have read in your Executive Summary with the painstaking thoroughness of your preliminary report.

”I have noted the salient points of your report and these will be incorporated in government economic policies.”

President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet during his first term in office. (Premium Times)
President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet during his first term in office. (Premium Times)

On the challenges facing the economy and the tasks that rest on the shoulders of the members, the President noted that “the economy is the most delicate and sensitive of all aspects of national life.

”A little change in the matrix can lead to major disruptions in the national economy.

”For example, international changes in oil prices, bad harvests, conflicts in strategic global locations, a major epidemic or pandemic like the current Coronavirus, tariff changes in major world economies, to mention only a few examples that readily come to mind, can significantly affect our plans.”

Buhari agreed that the EAC should now brief him more frequently, at least once every six weeks, instead of once every quarter.

He thanked the members for their patriotism and commitment in accepting the challenging responsibilities conferred on them.

“I cannot thank you enough for your patriotism,” he said.

Earlier in the submission of their report, Prof. Salami, supported by interventions by Council members, responded to questions by the President and his team in which they outlined a number of challenging opportunities facing the economy and proffered solutions to most of them.

In addition to the issue of synergy, which the President addressed at the meeting, the Council raised concerns that ”the rate of the growth of the economy is slower than the rate the country’s population is growing”.

The Council, therefore, stressed the need to strengthen national statistical agencies; reform procurement processes; improve education; and the need for job planning in training offered by academic institutions.

The Council also brought to the government their views on borrowing, macroeconomic stability and the need to provide a friendly climate for foreign investment.

“We need an environment that will attract investment. People will come only when they feel confident and when they come, their exit will not be challenging,” Salami said.

The council resolved to focus on legacy projects by the administration before 2023.

The Council, has Dr Mohammed Sagagi as Vice-Chairman while Prof. Ode Ojowu, Dr Shehu Yahaya, Dr Iyabo Masha, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Dr Bismack Rewane and Dr Mohammed Adaya Salisu are members.

The two ministers in the Ministry of Finance also serve as co-opted members.