NES refutes report describing economy under Buhari as unstable, directionless

The Nigerian Economic Society (NES) has debunked media reports that its president, Professor Sarah Olanrewaju Anyanwu, described the country’s economy under the Muhammadu Buhari administration as unstable and directionless.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, Anyanwu said she was determined to correct the misrepresentation of facts and misleading report in a national daily of Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

She described the report on her presentation to the Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, on October 6, 2020, at the National Assembly, as erroneous, saying the purpose of the briefing was to register her displeasure with the attributions to her.

“I did not grant any interview to any other newspaper editor or reporter and I am at a total loss as to the source of the erroneous information attributed to me and my team in some of the dailies,” she said.

She explained that the NES made a presentation to Abaribe during a visit on October 6, insisting that her briefing to Abaribe was clear and her oral addition did not include what was published.

Anyanwu recalled that she said, “We need more economists in various teams to promote economic growth and development to avoid Nigeria sliding into recession,” adding that the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was global.

She further stated that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is a Medium-Term Plan from 2017 to 2020, would expire by December this year and that NES was represented in the Central Working Group of the ongoing Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP).

However, she disclosed that NES as a professional body was not represented in the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, as was the case with the former National Economic Management Team (NEMT).

Anyanwu explained that including economic experts in the NEMT was important, as this would engender wider consultations with the professionals for inputs on economic policy formulations since all hands must be on deck to avert the economy going into recession.

She added that the media reported that the NES solicited Abaribe’s assistance in facilitating the passage of NES bill already submitted to the National Assembly earlier this year, insisting that leaving the management of the nation’s economy in the hands of people who have little of no knowledge of economics would ruin Nigeria’s economy.

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