Fact-Check: Oshiomole Goofs, Osinbajo Not Head Economic Team, Lack Of Synergy Reason For Economic Woes

Fact-Check: Oshiomole Goofs, Osinbajo Not Head Economic Team, Lack Of Synergy Reason For Economic Woes

The recent comment by former Edo state Governor Adams Oshiohomole that the economy collapsed on the watch of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been fact-checked, with the result showing the contrary.

Featuring recently on an Arise Television programme, the former labour leader who is now the deputy director general of Tinubu Campaign Organisation, was asked by one of the anchors whether  the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Asiwjau Bola Ahmed Tinubu would run his campaign on continuity or a departure from the Muhammadu Buhari-led government…Continue Reading

The question was asked following the continued sliding of the nation’s economy, a development that daily earns the administration condemnation from among Nigerians.

Oshomole’s response

And in his response, the sacked APC national chairman said the vice president should be asked to account for some of the policies as head of the economic council.

“In apportioning blame to people, you have to look at their roles. It is a fact that Asiwaju by himself said he cofounded APC, but he never participated in governance, never held any position in government, he didn’t carry out any contract on behalf of government, so how can you credit him? You can’t credit him either way.

“This is just being fair. It is not like the vice president who announced that he has been given the responsibility by the president to chair the economic team. Not just the Economic Council that is in the constitution, but a special team put together by government and he chairs it.

“So, you can ask him to account for some economic policies. You can’t say someone who never in any way participated in government to be credited with the outcome of government policy or be blamed either way,”  the former governor had reportedly said.

Fact-checking

How accurate is this claim?

The EMT was set up September 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari with a mandate of coordinating the federal government’s economic policies with VP Osinbajo as chair.

However, in 2019,  the VP’s team was dissolved following a statement by Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman.

In place of Osinbajo’s EMT, Adesina said Buhari approved Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) with Dr Doyin Salami as the chairman.

“This advisory council will replace the current Economic Management Team (EMT) and will be reporting directly to the President.

“The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.

“The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises,” Adesina added.

The statement further said the president appointed the following experts namely;  Prof. Doyin Salami – Chairman,  Dr Mohammed Sagagi – Vice-Chairman, Prof. Ode Ojowu – Member,  Dr Shehu Yahaya – Member, Dr Iyabo Masha – Member,  Prof. Chukwuma Soludo – Member,  Mr Bismark Rewane –Member and  Dr Mohammed Adaya Salisu – Secretary (Senior Special Assistant to the President, Development Policy).

“This advisory council will replace the current Economic Management Team (EMT) and will be reporting directly to the President.

“The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.

“The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises,” Adesina had added.

So, with the composition of Salami’s PEAC, the president inaugurated the team and also set an agenda of what they should accomplish in the shortest possible time.

Salami as Chief Economic Adviser

And further to this, further findings revealed Adesina, in yet another statement June 6,2022, announced the approval of Salami as Buhari’s Chief Economic Adviser.

In a statement Adesina said: “A 1989 doctorate degree graduate in Economics of Queen Mary College, University of London, Doyin Salami, 59, is Managing Director and Head Markets Practice at KAINOS Edge Consulting Limited, and member of the Adjunct Faculty at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University, where he recently attained the rank of Senior Fellow/Associate Professor.

“The Chief Economic Adviser to the President (CEAP) is expected to address all issues on the domestic economy and present views on them to the President; closely monitor national and international developments, trends and develop appropriate policy responses; develop and recommend to the President national economic policies to foster macro-economic stability, promote growth, create jobs, and eradicate poverty, among others.”

‘Osinbajo out of it

And with that, Osinbajo ceased being head of the EMT but only chairs the National Economic Council(NEC), which, according to the 1999 Constitution of  Nigeria, only has advisory responsibilities.

NEC was established by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended; Section 153(1) and Paragraphs 18 & 19 of Part I of the Third Schedule.

The NEC was inaugurated by President Buhari 29 June 2015. The body which meets monthly has the mandate to “advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the coordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.”

Membership of the NEC comprises of the 36 State Governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted Government officials.

Conclusion

From the foregoing, it is established that Vice President Osinbajo was head of the EMT up till September 2019 and chair of NEC, an advisory body, till date.

Therefore, Oshiomhole goofed as Osinbajo cannot be held responsible for the running of the nation’s economy on account of his headship of the administration’s EMT up till 2019 when the Salami’s PEAC came on board.

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