Less than 24 hours after he proffered solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges, a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, has come under fire from Senator Shehu Sani.
Sen. Sani, a prominent rights activist, is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to the senator, the former CBN chief is not in a right position to offer any advice to President Muhammadu Buhari on how he can pull Nigeria out from the woods when it was his (Mr. Soludo’s) policies, as head of the apex bank that brought the country to its terrible state.
Soludo, who spoke on Thursday at the 4th Progressive Governance Lecture Series of the Progressives Governors’ Forum in Kaduna, advised that, “The APC should go back to its manifesto and instigate framework that will engender the atmosphere for growth as Nigeria cannot develop with the current structure where institutions are created only to share from the federation account”.
He said it was better Mr. Buhari’s administration started thinking outside the box, rather than continue to blame the past government for the nation’s economic problems.
On the ongoing fight against corruption, the former CBN governor said rather than combat the cause, the current administration was busy fighting the symptoms.
“I don’t believe the way we are fighting corruption is the way we should go about it. We are only fighting corruption on the surface; we have to fight it from the systemic level”.
Mr. Soludo made these scathing remarks in the full glare of all APC governors and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who was present at the lecture series.
But Mr. Sani, who represents Kaduna Central, responded to Mr. Soludo’s advice yesterday, saying that it would be too early to forget that his (Soludo’s) stewardship at the CBN was the foundation of the current economic crisis in Nigeria.
While acknowledging that the former CBN Governor was entitled to his opinion, the senator said it was good to remind him of the role he played in bringing down the country’s economy.
“If Soludo and his Government had actually implemented such lofty ideas of reforms, we couldn’t have found ourselves where we are today”, Mr. Sani said. “It’s too early to forget the legacy of cronyism, elitism and vindictiveness that occasioned the past administrations.
“Soludo was lucky to serve under a Government that was powered by $140 per barrel and without the headache, heartache and bloodshed that has become of Niger Delta and the north east.
“Soludo need to be reminded that most of those today on trial for stealing our public funds were the same people rooted in the Government he served before GEJ. Yes PMB is tackling the ‘symptoms of corruption’, but the symptoms were there for 16 years.
“If Soludo and others have combated the symptoms, PMB could have now focused on the ailment. It’s not in contention that blame game by the PMB administration against GEJ must end but under PDP three Governments for 16 years, hardly a day passed without the same blame game on late Abacha”.
Mr. Sani did not spare the APC governors for inviting Mr. Soludo to speak at the lecturer series, accusing them of hiding behind the former apex bank’s chief to condemn President Buhari’s economic policies.
“Those who invited Soludo did that to rubbish PMB’s economic policies that they don’t have the balls to do.
“What is the reason and the logic behind APC chieftains inviting a PDP economist to lecture them on the economy? The very party they consistently deride for ruining this country for ‘16 years’?”