Nigeria Must ‘Innovate, Compete Or Die,’ Says Soludo

Professor Charles Soludo.

 

 

A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, says it is important for Nigeria to be innovative.

He explained that this was necessary for the country to remain relevant among the comity of nations, noting the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).

“The implication (of the signing) is that insularity will no longer be an option; the name of the game of the future in an increasingly integrated world is innovate, compete or die,” Soludo said while giving a speech at The Platform, an annual programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre.

He noted that the world was already on the fourth industrial revolution with the digital economy while Nigeria was struggling with the basic stages of growth.

“While electric cars are fast replacing diesel and petrol cars, many of our people are still building petrol stations.

“The ordinary people who can’t explain what has hit them resort to all sorts of criminal activities to survive. Economic structuring will entail thinking through the alternative scenarios and mapping out to alternative possible proactive responses,” the former CBN boss added.

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The economist, however, said it would be difficult to have a competitive and prosperous post-oil economy of the future with additional hundreds of millions of Nigerians in the coming years.

He stressed the need for Nigeria to improve its legal institutional foundation which he said has been designed for the consumption of oil rent.

The former CBN governor insisted that the country must completely shift from depending on oil sale as a source of revenue.

He explained that a post-oil economy requires that stakeholders maximise their full potentials, stressing that it was impossible to build a 100-story building on a foundation of an old bungalow.

Soludo, however, said the responsibility was not for the Federal Government alone but should be a collective effort from every citizen.

According to him, the nation needs to focus on wealth creation rather than sharing and consuming oil rent, paving the way for a new national business model.

“The link between law, constitution, institution, and judiciary and the economic transformations seems to be the weakest link in our design of national agenda,” the economist said.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Proposes Six-Year Single Term For Presidents

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo

 

Prominent Igbo cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has advocated a single tenure of six years for the nation’s president.

The group made its position known on Monday during the South East Summit on Restructuring Nigeria in Awka, the Anambra State capital, through a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo,

“The tenure of office of the President shall be a single term of six years,” Soludo said. “There shall be five Vice Presidents. One from each of the six geopolitical zones.”

According to Soludo, the Igbos demand a nation that works in order to give everyone a sense of belonging.

This, he noted, was why some aggrieved members of the Igbo nation were canvassing for seceding from Nigeria.

Despite the different political differences, Soludo believes that the Igbos firmly speak with one voice on the issue of restructuring.

Top on the demands of Ndigbo known for their entrepreneur skills in the country and across the world is the creation of the nation’s constitution and a constitutional conference enacted by the National Assembly.

He added, “We demand a new constitution of Nigeria. We demand a constitutional conference backed by a law enacted by the National Assembly where the people of Nigeria will agree on a new, truly, federal constitution.

“A constituent assembly should be constituted to agree on a new constitution for a new Nigeria. Such a constitution, the People’s Constitution should be approved by the people of Nigeria through a referendum to give it legitimacy and validity.”

Soludo’s comments further reawaken the calls for restructuring Africa’s most populous nations made by prominent Nigerians.

The calls for restructuring, with the nation going back to true federalism, gathered momentum late last year with many Nigerians seeking their support for it.

Most notable among them are President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr John Nwodo; former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode; Ayo Adebanjo, representative of Afenifere leader, Mr Reuben Fasoranti and Executive Secretary of United Niger Delta energy development and security Tony Uranta, among others.

Despite the various calls, however, President Muhammadu Buhari and a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Retired) have differed on the subject matter.

Buhari, in his New Year message, insisted that restructuring was not the most pressing issue in Nigeria because the country’s problems have more to do with the process.

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Leadership Responsible For Nigeria’s Economic Crisis – Soludo

A Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo says the lack of proper leadership ideas contributed to the nation’s economic crash in 2016.

The academic made the comments in a lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra, southeast Nigeria.

“At a time of oil pricing over 100, we were actually borrowing for recurrent expenditure for consumption. The total recurrent expenditure exceeded the total revenue meaning that from 2010 to 2014, that was the foundation and since 2015 we have carried on the same way. We borrow for consumption.

“Every penny spent on capital has been borrowed,” he stressed.

Professor Soludo, however, suggested the adoption of nominal price adjustment during a fall in commodity prices.

 

Analysts List Faults In Sanusi’s 5 Year Tenure As CBN Governor

Legal practitioners, Liborous Oshomah and Kenneth Odidika on Saturday listed what they found wrong in Lamido Sanusi’s five year reign as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, while speaking on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise.

Oshomah, who was of the opinion that the government fell out of favour with Sanusi, argued that the suspended governor’s tenure was characterised by crisis and inconsistencies.

While praising the former CBN Governor, Charles Soludo, for managing challenges without raising alarms, Oshomah stressed that many of the decisions taken by Sanusi, while in office, were controversial.

He also mentioned the issue of the banking crisis which resulted in several banks folding up and thousands of workers being laid off, stressing that banks are still unable to recover from it.

While commenting on the controversies exposed by Sanusi including the 25% allocation of the national budget to the National Assembly, and the NNPC missing money, Oshomah said the suspended governor waited until the near end of his tenure to hit the government he is a part and parcel of.

“If you want to be a critic of the government, it is better to be out of that government,” he said.

On the inconsistency which trailed the figures released by the CBN as NNPC missing money, Oshomah asked why it took Sanusi so long to raise the alarm and faulted inconsistencies in the figures disclosed, adding that, calculations should have been done privately before going public.

“I think all of this should have been done underground so when you come out with your figures, people would solidly believe you, stand behind you and say that look this man knows what he’s talking about. But the way he went about it showed that all of a sudden the amount went from 49 to 10 billion.

10 billion is much, I agree, but for somebody at that level, I think once you speak we ought to believe.”

Speaking on the powers vested on the CBN governor, Oshomah said the apex bank is not a sovereign on its own and faulted Sanusi for acting as if the CBN was a country on its own and he the president.

On his part, Kenneth Odidika described Sanusi as a “very brilliant man who seemed not to appreciate the enormity of the responsibilities of the office he occupied.”

Odidika went ahead to label the suspended governor a ‘talkative’ whose good diction and spoken English and “musical voice” is mere theatrics ‘from Hollywood.’

“For a central bank governor to be in every forum, talking both about the economy and all things that are not related about the economy, that was unbecoming of Sanusi, as Central Bank Governor. I could go as far as saying that Sanusi was irresponsible in discharging or not discharging his responsibilities as central bank governor.”

Nominating A Candidate Is An Internal Party Affair – Umeh

The Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh has said that the process for nominating a candidate to represent a party during an election is an internal affair of the party; stating that the court cannot have a say in it.

Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, Mr. Umeh explained that the party had to screen aspirants who were interested in contesting for the party’s ticket and unfortunately the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo was part of the people that were not cleared, revealing that Soludo took the party to court and the court dismissed the case.

Mr. Umeh mentioned that it’s the subjective decision of the party that will determine who will qualify for the primary election, he said “if the party looks at the aspirants and screens them within its own criteria and judgment, the party has the right to say these are the people they consider viable to go for the election on its behalf”.
He added that the people that were not cleared were given reasons why they weren’t cleared.

He debunked the allegation that the governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi is trying to impose the former governor of Central Bank as his successor, stating that “it is not the case”.