Following the statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), that Nigeria had officially gone into recession, there have been calls for a drastic action by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the crisis.
The announcement generated reactions from Nigerians, with many blaming the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent development.
President Buhari had shut out the private sector in the composition of his economic team led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Here are the names of economic experts President Buhari need to invite to revive the dwindling economy of the country.
1) Yemi Babington-Ashaye
Babington-Ashaye is an ally of Nigeria’s former minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He is the head, Global Shapers Community and director at the World Economic Forum. He started his career as a Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and was a member of the Financial Management Programme at the financial services unit of the American conglomerate General Electric – GE Capital.
While working with Okonjo-Iweala as technical advisor for economic growth, he ensured the integration of economic data and information into the decision-making process, which culminated in the development of State of the Nation reports that guided policy priorities. In addition to overseeing fiscal policy matters, he also designed stakeholder outreach sessions which were effective and applauded by financial experts.
Babington-Ashaye is known for his discipline, hard work, integrity and commitment to any assignment given to him. He is one man who will add value and knowledge to the economic team.
2) Peter Obi
Although he is best known for his established and untainted reputation in politics, Obi is a business man to the core who brought his experience to bare as he governed Anambra state for eight years. His legacy and financial prudence in the management of the state resources, made the state one of the few states in the country that is not affected by the current economic recession in the country.
Obi was a force to reckon with in the corporate world before he ventured into politics. He was the chairman of Next International Nigeria Limited, chairman and director of Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Limited, Guardian Express Bank Plc, Future View Securities Limited, Paymaster Nigeria Limited, Chams Nigeria Ltd, Data Corp Limited, Card Centre Limited and the youngest ever chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.
Despite his membership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government can tap from the wealth of experience of this man if given the opportunity to serve.
3) Wale Edun
Edun has over twenty-five years experience in merchant banking, corporate finance, economics and international finance at national and international levels. He joined the World Bank/IFC in Washington DC, US through the elite Young Professionals program in September 1986. At the World Bank, Edun worked on economic and financial packages for several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic and Trinidad as well as Indonesia and India in the Far East.
Edun’s unique and creative economic policies came to fore during his time as Lagos state commissioner for finance between 1999 to 2007.
Edun ensured Nigeria’s commercial capital survived the inhuman decision by the then government of Olusegun Obasanjo to withhold the state’s local government funds due to political disagreements between Obasanjo and then Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He will be a valuable asset to the economic team.
4) Nimi Akinkugbe
Akinkugbe holds a bachelor’s degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an MBA from Lagos Business School.
She enjoyed a distinguished banking career spanning over 2 decades first at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc where she was general manager and head private client services with responsibility for the bank’s high net worth business and a director of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited. She later joined Barclays Bank as regional director (West Africa) for the wealth and investment management division and chief country officer for Nigeria.
Through articles, speaking engagements, television and radio appearances, she offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance and wealth management issues. She is a regular contributor to Business Day and the Punch Newspapers. Her understanding of wealth management and fiscal discipline will no doubt be important to the economic team.
5) Professor Pat Utomi
He has seen it all. A management expert and professor of political economy, Utomi is the co-founder of Lagos Business School. He has been a scholar-in-residence at the Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington D.C. He is also the author of several management and public policy books.
He served as the chairman of the Economic Commission for the Niger Delta, served on the council of key apex private sector associations including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Consultative Association (NECA).
He coordinated the establishment of several civil society groups on good governance and accountability such as Transparency in Nigeria, The Centre for Values in Leadership, The Concerned Professionals, and the Restoration Group. He is a veteran in economic issues and should not be overlooked.
6) Mansur Muhtar
Muhtar is a well known Nigerian economist who served as Nigeria’s finance minister during the tenure of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
He headed the Nigerian Debt Management Office, and during his tenure re-negotiated Nigeria’s historical debt agreement with the Paris Club. He was also instrumental in the redemption of Nigerian debt held by the London Club.
He is currently the vice president (operations) at the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has previously served as executive director on the board of the World Bank Group (2011-2014) as well as co-chair of the United Nations Inter-Governmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance (2013-2014). His expertise will enhance the effectiveness of the economic team.
7) Professor Chukwuma Soludo
An economic enigma, Soludo is a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Under his watch, the Nigerian economy flourished especially with the recapitalisation of the banking industry which brought about 25 strong banks in the country.
Soludo has worked at the World Bank both as a short and long-term consultant since 1993, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa and as a consultant to UNCTAD; European Union (EU); Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); United Nations (UN) New York; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); African Development Bank (ADB); Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); African Union (AU); International Development Research Council (IDRC) Canada; Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); among others.
Prof. Soludo has served as senior technical advisor/consultant as well as a visiting scholar at the IMF since 1994, and also taught IMF’s financial programming and policy course to senior staff of Central Banks in West Africa and other developing regions. He has also served as the chairman of African Finance Corporation. He is an oracle in economics that should be consulted at all times.