Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo is one of the best brain(s) around the entire South Eastern part of Nigeria ,within Africa as a whole and among the best 10 chosen economic gurus the contemporary world could boast of.The people of Anambra State is lucky to produce such much celebrated macroeconomic wizard.Below is Prof Soludo conviction about the structure of Nigeria:
Consolidating the States into Six Regions
The current six zonal structure is perhaps a good starting point, with perhaps Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja as special territories (Lagos as the commercial capital; Abuja as political capital, and Port Harcourt as the oil city). The point is that we need to consolidate the current fiscally unviable entities called States that helplessly depend on Abuja even to pay the salaries into fiscally and economically viable regions. The aggregation will eliminate the unbelievable waste and duplication in bureaucracies and free up resources needed for investment. Economies of scale resulting from the consolidation of states will ensure, and the savings from the wasteful duplications of bureaucracies will create an infrastructure investment boom. Competition among the regions as was the case before the oil boom and ‘creation of states’ could unleash a transformation boom, with one or two regions becoming bigger than the current Nigerian economy in the near future. We look forward to seeing regional interconnected rail lines. Private sector-led regional power plants and water schemes will make sense, etc. The current States could still exist as provinces within the regions for purposes of service delivery. The bottom line is for the federating units to be fiscally viable entities, because only then can they drive different economic transformation agenda.
The Man Soludo: He has this to say about himself;
I believe that God has a purpose and a plan for everyone. From my very humble beginnings, it is only through the grace of God that I could have earned a Distinction grade at the secondary school; a B.Sc (First Class Honours) (Economics); an M.Sc. and a Ph.D (Economics) winning Departmental, Faculty and University awards as best graduating student at the University of Nigeria. I had cumulative four years of post-doctoral training and research in some of the world’s best institutions including the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; University of Oxford, UK; University of Warwick, UK; Cambridge University as Smuts scholar; UN Economic Commission for Africa; the IMF Research Department, etc. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB); Fellow of the Nigerian Economic Society (FNES), and awarded Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) (Honoris Causa) from three Universities.
I was visiting Associate Professor at Swarthmore College, USA, and promoted Professor of Economics at the age of 38 (University of Nigeria, Nsukka). I lived and worked in Ethiopia, U.K., and the USA and travelled to 45 other countries before joining Government in 2003. As consultant to 18 international organizations (including the World Bank, IMF, OECD Paris, European Union, African Union, USAID, UK-DFID, ADB, IBM Consulting, USA; IDRC Canada; Chemonics International, USA; United Nations, UNIDO, ECOWAS, COMESA, CODESRIA, UNCTAD; AERC Nairobi) I garnered wide ranging experiences and knowledge. I was also the founding Executive Director of the African Institute for Applied Economics, Enugu. I have to my credit over 80 scholarly publications, 15 books, and over 250 monographs, conference papers and public lectures.
At the Federal Government (2003 – 2009), I held five substantive positions: Chief Economic Adviser to the President; Deputy Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission (of ministerial rank by law); Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Chairman, Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPM), Plc; Founder and Chairman, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), as well as membership of more than 25 technical/policy committees. These assignments saw us draft the Government’s reform agenda (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, NEEDS); massively restructured nonperforming government institutions; rebuilt the CBN and NSPM; revolutionalized the Nigerian banking/financial system; set up a new international financial institution, AFC, and helped to steer the Nigerian economy away from the global financial crisis. For these accomplishments, I have been decorated with scores of awards, including being awarded the African and Global Central Bank Governor of the year, 2006 by the Banker (Financial Times) and the Financial Times of London has described me as “a great reformer”. The Federal Government has conferred the third highest national honour (Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR) on me in 2006— in recognition of accomplished performance.
Recently, I have served as a member of the United Nations Commission of Experts on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis. Also, I have served as a member of the International Advisory Group for the UK- DFID, and still member of the 7- man Chief Economist Advisory Council of the World Bank. Immediately after completing my tenure of office as Governor of the Central Bank, I have accepted three international offers.
I served the Federal Government of Nigeria under two Presidents and below are excerpts of what each had to say about my services to Nigeria:
“Charles Soludo is a true Nigerian. He is the sort of Nigerian that we all know we can rely on. Among his numerous virtues is COURAGE. I have found in him a man who can take tough and realistic decisions, stand his ground, educate others on the salience of his decision, and work very hard to ensure that the decision is efficiently and effectively implemented. His dedication to duty is first rate. His leadership qualities are admirable and his willingness to listen and learn is simply infectious.
Professor Soludo has within a short time emerged as one of the leading lights of our nation. Not because he has a godfather but by sheer hard work, loyalty, dedication to duty, commitment to the nation, creativity, and undiluted association with the reform agenda, ”. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR (December, 2004)
President Yar’Adua had the following the say about the CBN under my leadership:
“… the CBN has performed creditably well in delivering on its core mandates. This is especially even more so in the last five years. Most people would agree that without the successful banking consolidation and effective management of our foreign reserves, the current global crisis would have shaken the financial system and our national economy to their foundations with calamitous consequences”; President Yar’Adua (May 2009).
In the President’s letter of commendation after completion of my tenure of office, the President had the following to say:
“As your tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria comes to a glorious end, I write on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria to place on record our debt of gratitude to you for your dedicated service and uncommon sense of duty over the past five years. I am confident that your worthy antecedents in the CBN and in prior appointments in the service of our nation remain sources of inspiration to an entire generation. As I wish you even more astounding successes in the years ahead, it is my fervent hope that you will readily avail us of your distinguished service when the need arises in the future” (June 2009)’
Ifeanyi Okoye has this to tell BVI Channel 1 ‘ Our understanding is that after Obiano,power will be shifted to Anambra South and Prof Soludo is being tipped to continue from Obiano.Obiano is not the best but he has remained committed to igbo project and has ensured that Ojukwu legacy has not been abandoned even when Peter Obi deviated .For the sake of a giant like Prof Soludo,we shall all vote for APGA come 18th Nov,2017’.Ifeanyi Okoye from Amawbia Town told BVI Channel 1 Reporter that his community will do a protest vote against Buhari APC and Peter Obi betrayal.
Celestine reporting for BVI Channel 1