President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated members of the newly constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) with a charge for reliable data that truly reflect the happenings in the country. He told the eight-man team chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami that: ‘’As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection.”
The president continued: ‘’Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies.
‘’Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on ground.
On the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), he told members of the panel that his administration was working to measure the impact of the scheme targeted at improving the well being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens.
Consequently, he directed the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.
The president also ordered the advisory council to coordinate and synthesize efforts to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years in collaboration with the various employment-generating agencies of government.He assured the panel of his administration’s readiness to meet its needs and requests before the next technical sessions in November.
In a related development, the president has promised to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically elected leader.”He gave the assurance yesterday while some of the ministers who served under him as military Head of State between December 31,1983 and August 27,1985 visited the State House.
Also yesterday, the president decried the incessant herders-farmers clashes in parts of the country, blaming the development on social and cultural factors “grossly misunderstood as religion.” He spoke when he received a delegation of the Benue State Traditional Council led by the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Buhari appealed for better understanding of the nation’s diverse cultures in order to engender healthier co-existence among the people. He restated the commitment of his administration to the unity of Nigeria.