Con-SOLUDO-tion created no additional jobs in the banking sector. On the contrary, it led to massive retrenchments. It is quite possible that Soludo no longer goes to the banking hall himself. Otherwise, if he had a favourite bank in 2004 and still visits that bank today, he would know how many people had been sacked. Since OCEANIC, BankPHB and Intercontinental banks, among others, were taken over by the survivors of the “Con-SOLUDO-tion calamity, hundreds of their branches had been closed.
Yet, Soludo, eager to blame Okonjo-Iweala for N30 trillion lost under her watch, was even dismissing the charge about AMCON being a drain of everybody’s funds to rescue the banks which were looted by Soludo’s “friends”. Even the list of AMCON clients includes the main beneficiaries of “Con-SOLUDO-tion”. Other Nigerians, undernourished as we are, are still being forced to bail out those who robbed the banking system under Soludo.
When Soludo claimed that “As I see the new Access bank, Zenith, GTB, Fidelity…..I cannot but feel that we have taken a giant step forward”, he forgot that if Sanusi had not exposed the fraud going on under Soludo and forced the banks to clean up their acts, there would be no bank left in Nigeria about which we can be proud. At, any rate, we had no choice but to move forward in 2009. The unrelenting increase in the price of crude oil, bringing more funds into the eco-system also helped a great deal. Without that, the banks would never have recovered so well.
This search for truth will not be complete if mention is not made of two serious blunders made by Soludo while he was CBN Governor. One, the campaign to coin some of our power denomination currencies was a massive failure despite the entire colossal amount spent on it. Only God knows what has happened to the mountains of coins produced. Two, conversion from conventional paper for minting currencies was announced with all the fanfare and hubris Soludo could command.
Substrate we were told would last almost forever and defy the “Nigerian treatment”. The evidence on the streets today emphatically refutes that assertion. And, now the entire exercise is wrapped in scandal. Again, Soludo brushed these aside in his write-up. Very unprofessional.
Finally, Soludo is asking for a debate. It is doubtful there will be one – especially after Soludo stopped his revelations with part 1. There is a strong possibility that he had received an offer which he cannot refuse to stop. Obviously, the timing of the releases is bad for Jonathan. But, if ever there is going to be a debate, permit me to offer my services as a moderator.
If ever there were two highly placed economists who combined to ruin Nigeria, by acts of commission or omission, Soludo and Okonjo-Iweala should both step up to receive the prize. That is what Soludo is saying about the Minister and that is what the CME is saying about Soludo. I have the records to prove both of them right about their charges against each other.