BusinessDay

Anambra guber: INEC declares Soludo winner

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) the winner of November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

Soludo polled a total of 112,229 votes to defeat his closest rival Valentine Ozigbo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 53, 807 to emerge second.

Senator Andy Uba, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got a total of 43,285 votes to emerge the third position.

Declaring the result at about 1: 51am Wednesday at the INEC headquarters, Awka, Prof. Florence Obi, returning officer for 2021 Anambra Governorship Election, announced, said: “Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner of the election.”

Obi said that there were 2,466,638 total registered voters; 241,523 total valid votes; 249,631 total votes cast and 8,108 rejected votes.

 

Anambra election
The result of the Anambra governorship election

 

The man Soludo

He is from a very humble home, barely knew his mother because she died when he was very small and his father retired as a junior worker in a local community. He attended only community primary and secondary schools, yet he passed every subject with distinction. He was an exceptional student in the university, and at only 38 years he had become a full professor in Nigeria’s most conservative university. He has taught at some of the world’s best universities and research institutes and think tanks like Oxford and Brookings Institution, not minding the fact that he himself attended only a local university in Nigeria -(According to Agunwa Anakwe, a lawyer and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Third Republic during an interview)

Soludo’s feats:

  • Soludo’s greatest achievement is that no bank failed in Nigeria when many banks were failing, even in the United States and the United Kingdom; 115 banks have failed in the United States in the last year. The situation would have been different if the bank consolidation exercise had not taken place in 2004 and 2005.
  • He is the only African chosen to join the United Nations panel of 10 experts to look into how to restructure the world’s financial markets and the international economic system in light of the global economic meltdown; the panel is headed by Joseph Stiglitz, the American economist, and Nobel Prize winner. By the time he was made the chief economic adviser to the president in 2003 he was already consulting with 18 international institutions across the globe.
  • Making and standing by his assertion that at least N30 trillion “has either been stolen or unaccounted for, or grossly mismanaged over the last few years by government officials.

Read Also: What APGA’s victory means for peace in Anambra, South East

His reforms

The primary objective of the reforms was to guarantee an efficient and sound financial system. The reforms sought to ensure a diversified, strong, and reliable banking industry where there would be the safety of depositors’ money; so that banks can play active developmental roles in the Nigerian economy.

The key elements of the 13-point reform program of Central Bank include:

• Minimum capital base of N25billion with a deadline of 31st December 2005

• Consolidation of banking institution through mergers and acquisition;

• Phased withdrawal of public sectors funds from banks, beginning from July 2004;

• Adoption of a risk-focused and rule-based regulatory framework;

• Zero tolerance for weak corporate governance, misconduct, and lack of transparency.

• Accelerated completion of the Electronic Financial Analysis Surveillance System (e-FASS).

• The establishment of an Asset Management Company.

• Promotion of the enforcement of dormant laws.

• Revision and updating of relevant laws.

•Closer collaboration with the EFCC and the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Unit.

 

Shortcomings of Soludo:

· While poverty eradication is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the poverty index worsened since the recapitalization exercise. Also, staff that was laid off and not absorbed in the consolidated banks increased the unemployment index in the country.

· With the alleged connivance of the former governor of the CBN, some commercial banks engaged in improper financial practices that negate the rules and regulations of the banking industry. Such practices included granting loans without collateral, budget padding, money laundering for big businesses and politicians, etc. Some of these ills are perpetrated with the profit motive in mind and these unethical practices.

· On assuming office as the CBN Chief, Soludo swiftly facilitated the shutdown of most banks by increasing the liquidity ratio, and one swoop, 64 banks submarined.

· He convinced ex-president Obasanjo to sell government-owned enterprises and a huge chunk of them were sold to their acquaintances.

· Soludo advised the Federal government to mint new currencies making Nigerians believe that the devil restraining the economy was the colour and denomination of the Naira.

· The privatization spree sponsored by Charles Soludo and his fellow CBN technocrats only favored the transfer of ownership of many public corporations into private hands within their circle and at the expense of over 100 million Nigerians. This is in agreement with the Marxist ideology that the bourgeoisie will use all avenues available to concentrate, centralize and amass wealth meant for all. In essence, the privatization successfully achieved the contradicting objective of increasing the nation’s poverty index.

Delta Steel Company Ltd was sold in February 2005 with gross proceeds of $30million dollars. Other enterprises that were sold were National Trucks Manufacturers, Kano, sold in April 2005 with gross proceeds of $3.01 million dollars, Leyland Nigeria Limited, sold in 2005 at a proceed of N274 million naira, Central Packaging Limited (June 2005) at a proceed of N141million naira, Ikorodu Bricks (June 2005) at a proceed of N310million naira.

Ibadan Bricks and Clay (June 2005) was sold at a proceed of N175million, Enugu Bricks and Clay (June 2005) at a proceed of N50million naira, Ihechiowa Oil Palm (July 2005) at a proceed of N34million naira, Afribank Plc (June 2005) at a proceed of N5.1 billion naira, Calabar Cement Company Ltd. (August 2002) at a proceed of N216million naira, Niger Insurance Plc (December 2002) at a proceed of N622million naira, Festac 77 Hotel (January 2002) at a proceed of N1.01 billion naira, and Central Hotel, Kano(July 2004) at a proceed of N642.5million.

Savannah Sugar Company Ltd. (December 2002) at a proceed of N1.35 billion naira, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation(December 2002) at a proceed of N1.01 billion naira, Daily Times of Nigeria Plc(June 2004) at a proceed of N1.25billion naira, Ore-Irele Oil Palm (September 2004) at a proceed of N166.02million naira, and Osogbo Steel Rolling Company Limited (November 2005) at a proceed of N2.61 billion naira.

Katsina Steel Rolling Mill(November 2005) was sold at a proceed of N335million naira, Steyr Nigeria Limited (December 2005) at a proceed of N800milion naira, Nigerdock Nigeria Limited (December 2001) at a proceed of 3.4billion naira, Assurance Bank Nigeria Plc (March 2002) at a proceed of N853.2million, FSB International Bank Plc. (April 2001) at a proceed of N1.65 billion naira and NAL Merchant Bank Plc. (April 2001) at a proceed of N1.42 billion naira.

The Central Government did not name investors that bought FSB International Bank Plc., NAL Merchant Bank Plc., International Merchant Bank Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Nigeria Hotels Limited, Ikoyi Hotels Limited, and many other companies which bring up the question of transparency.

His experience in governance and politics:

· Chief Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo, July 2003- May 2004

· Deputy Chairman/Chief Executive, National Planning Commission, August 2003- May 2004

(restructured the old Federal Office of Statistics into modern National Bureau of Statistics; and rationalized non-performing parastatals of the ministry from 6 to 3, etc).

· Governor/Chairman of Board, Central Bank of Nigeria, May 31, 2004- June 1, 2009 (In

addition to the consolidation of Nigerian banks grew external reserves from $10bn to an all-time high

$62 bn; inflation down from 23% to single-digit for 24 consecutive months; stable and

converged exchange rate regime that appreciated steadily to N112 to $ before unprecedented

global crisis; special funding for commercial agriculture; implemented a transformational

a program named “Project EAGLES” which repositioned CBN as an efficient and effective

institution, etc).

· Chairman, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Plc: 2005- 2009 (transformed a

bankrupt company to a world-class status that for the first time met 100% of Nigeria’s currency

printing needs, etc).

· Founder/Founding Chairman, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC): 2006- 2009.

· Chairman of Drafting Committees for National Economic Empowerment and Development

Strategy (NEEDS); and Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) which had the vision to

establish an International Financial Centre and turn Nigeria into Africa’s financial hub.

· Served in over 20 technical committees of the Federal Government

· Alternate Governor at IMF/World Bank’s Board of Governors—2004- 2009.

· Prof Chukwuma Soludo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the February 6, 2008, election in Anambra State, and then All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) in 2021

Soludo’s focal points/Ideology:

· Leveraging on indigenous resources as the means to attain Financial and Economic transformation of society.

· Technology for society’s transformation.

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