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Tinubu’s Economic Team’s Flawed, Say Experts

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Some economic experts have picked holes in the composition of the economic team set up by President Bola Tinubu, describing it as flawed.

Tinubu, on Wednesday, approved the establishment of the Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC) and the Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce (EET) to tackle the prevailing economic challenges in the country.

The PECC is made up of President Bola Tinubu as Chairman and Vice President Kashim Shettima as Vice Chairman.

Other members are, President of the Nigerian Senate, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other relevant Ministers.

The council will also have some members of the organized private sector, joining for a period not exceeding one (1) year, subject to the President’s directive

They are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Ms. Amina Maina, Mr. Begun Ajayi-Kadir among others.

But economic experts who spoke with Daily Trust on Thursday said the composition was flawed, saying it was composed of stakeholders with vested interests.

A Professor of Economics and the Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research, at the University of Lagos, Ndubisi Nwokoma, argued that a professional body such as the Nigeria Economic Society would have made a greater impact in the committee.

He said: “The composition of that team is somewhat flawed because these are stakeholders who all have interest in the economy. If you bring in people who have interest, they would protect their own interest; they would protect their own businesses.

“They would be thinking of policies that actually would favour them, nobody would go into a discussion that would work against him.

“I think bringing professional bodies like the Nigerian Economic Society, these are purely intellectuals, people that don’t have any stake who are not business men, who are just looking at the contextual issues and looking at the direction of government and find out where the government ought to take the economy to and what should be done to get there.”

He expressed concern that the country’s economy has been consumption based, saying: “In terms of where the economy should go, I think fundamentally we have gotten it wrong as a country, I think we need to look at the fundamental issues in terms of the structure of the economy.”

Also speaking, Professor Adeola Adenikinju of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan and Vice President of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) while hailing the composition of the committee as timely, however raised issues with its composition.

According to him, the committee is composed of largely government assisted people, who are going to benefit from the expected policies they are coming up with.

“Every government needs to have a body of experts to advise them on the efficacy of policies put in place and what are the new policies to ensure the economy works better.

“In terms of the composition, the intellectuals, the experts who are working in this area are not there. What you see are largely government assisted people who are interested in one contract or the other. So they are not going to be neutral in terms of the advice they are going to give. There is a likelihood that they would want to protect their interest. You don’t have lecturers; you don’t have the Nigerian Economic Society, who are on the intellectual side of the society,” he submitted.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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