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Okonjo-Iweala ‘needs serious help’, says Soludo

Okonjo-Iweala ‘needs serious help’, says Soludo
February 01
20:47 2015

Charles Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has criticised Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s minister of finance, over her response to his recent criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, saying she “needs serious help”..

Soludo had alleged that the economy was in a terrible state, accusing the government of promoting inefficiency and encouraging corruption.

But Okonjo-Iweala dismissed his criticism, saying he was only trying to gain political relevance. She described him as the worst CBN governor in the history of the country.

“Soludo is an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space and he is so derailed to commit intellectual harakiri by deliberately misquoting economic facts and maliciously turning statistics on their head to justify a hatchet job,” Okonjo-Iweala had said in a response circulatted by Paul Nwabuikwu, her special adviser on media.

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“There is definitely an issue of character with Prof. Charles Soludo and his desperate search for power and relevance in Nigeria. Nigerians should therefore beware of so-called intellectuals without character and wisdom because this combination is fatal.”

However, in a lengthy piece written on Sunday, Soludo maintained that he was standing by his words, lamenting that the government has proven itself to be intolerant of criticisms.

“As a concerned Nigerian, I have a duty to speak out again. Regrettably, you have taken it very personal,” he said.

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“I am not bothered about the personal abuses: I actually expected worse. What name has the government not called President Obasanjo or any person who has dared to disagree with it of late? Anyone who disagrees with the government must either be ‘insane’ or have a ‘character’ deficiency or must be ‘looking for a job’ or ‘without honour’, or a ‘charlatan’.

“Some days ago, a former president was called ‘a motor park tout’ and ‘un-statesmanly’ just for disagreeing. This ‘how dare you criticise us’ mindset of the government is dangerous for our democracy.

“Yesterday, Sanusi alleged that $20 billion was missing and he was accused of gross financial mismanagement, recklessness and poor governance to the point of being the first governor of central bank to be suspended from office. Today, he is the good one; and for daring to award an “F” grade for our economic performance, Soludo has become the ‘worst’ and ‘without character’ or perhaps ‘looking for position’ (Lol!).

“In my view, there are three criteria for evaluating a public officer’s stewardship: the evaluation by his employer; the satisfaction of the public he served; and the hard facts of performance.

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“As I will show on these three counts, I am convinced that I left a world record of public service, and a thousand Okonjo-Iwealas cannot re-write that history. I served Nigeria under two presidents (Obasanjo and Yar’Adua).

“In Nigeria’s history, no governor of the Central Bank has delivered 24 consecutive months of single digit inflation as I did until the advent of the unprecedented global crisis in 2008.”

Lashing at Okonjo-Iweala, Soludo described the current administration as insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.

“Part of my frustration is that five years after, everything I warned about has come to happen and we are conducting our campaigns as if we are not in crisis,”he said.

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“You are brilliant Madam, but you need serious help.

“Having spent all your life in the World Bank bureaucracy largely in administration/operations, no one will blame you if your economics has become a bit rusty. There are firebrand Nigerians all over the world to draft to service. It is certainly embarrassing to Nigeria for you to be bothering World Bank economists to help you with most basic economic analysis.”

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3 Comments

  1. Owo
    Owo February 02, 05:10

    Soludo is right in his assessment of our economy. That he failed then in the regulation of the banks is not enough to say that he is not qualified to comment. Soludo earned a PhD in econometrics at 29 and has a long career in macroeconomic research. Okonjo-Iweala, who has a PhD in development economics, was rejected for the World Bank presidency by Obama, who preferred a Korean American physician for the job!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Uzoma Ngozi
    Uzoma Ngozi February 02, 19:13

    I think Nigerians should also know about the polymer Naira scam you in which you were involved. That scandal was left unvisted and I think Nigerians deserve to know how corrupt you and how you tried to manipulate things for your selfish interest. In fact, because of the money you got from that bribery and the ones you stole from office, which was why you taught you had enough to contest for governorship position in Anambra state. You should be interrogated by the EFCC.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Dan Nigeria
    Dan Nigeria February 03, 03:21

    This whole thing smells of personality clash, not for public good!

    Reply to this comment

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