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Soludo Replies Okonjo-Iweala | Alleges Over N30 Trillion Has Been Stolen Under Her Watch

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Charles Soludo 1Former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo is back again with another controversial article. And this time, he is responding to the article written by Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in which she called him an “embittered loser.”

In his response titled Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Missing Trillions (1) Chukwuma Charles Soludo, he alleges that more than N30 trillion has either been stolen or unaccounted for under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch in the last four years.  He also says she is the cause of nation’s collapsed economy.

Read the full article, as reported by Premium Times:

1. I read some of the responses to my article, “Buhari vs Jonathan: Beyond the Election”, and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the debate. I am glad that the debate has finally taken off. I have decided, for the record, to re-enter the debate if only to set some records straight and hopefully elevate the debate further.  Whom do I respond to? First, let me thank Gov Kayode Fayemi for his very mature and professional response on behalf of the APC. It forms a great basis for deepening the conversation. Pat Utomi, Oby Ezekwesili, Iyabo Obasanjo, and thousands of other patriotic Nigerians have raised the content of the debate. Femi Fani-Kayode made me laugh, as usual. The Gov. Jang faction of the Governors’ Forum played the usual politics, although I know what most of them think privately. Who else? Oh, Peter Obi. Well, since he can’t write and designated Valentine as usual to write for him (who never disputed the NBS statistics that Obi broke world record in the pauperization of Anambra people but instead focused on lies and abuses) I won’t dignify him with a response here. His third class performance in Anambra will be the subject of a comprehensive article later.

2. Here, I will focus on Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s response (as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy—CME and hence on behalf of the Federal Government). Since I have known her, out of deep respect, I have never called her by her name: I call her Madam. I must state that I have great pains seeing myself on the opposite side of the table with Madam, in this way. I respect you, Madam, and will always do.  If you read my article of September 2010 (before you became Minister), the tone and elucidation were as strong as the current one. It is my honest effort to ensure that our choice of leaders is based on rigorous scrutiny of what is on offer.  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. As a concerned Nigerian, I have a duty to speak out again. Regrettably, you have taken it very personal.

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

4. In this Part One of my planned three part series, I will restrict it to the main issues you raised. I will not bother about the malicious attacks on my person. For me, it is nothing personal. In early 2011, I had a similar heated exchange with then Finance Minister Segun Aganga. But when the Nigerian economy was at stake and he invited me to a stakeholders meeting in his office (as Minister of Trade and Investment) to discuss Nigeria’s response to the ruinous EU- Economic Partnership for Africa (EPA), I flew into Nigeria for that (at my expense)— the first and only time I have been to any government office to discuss policy since I left office. It is about Nigeria. I will, as expected, remind people like you of the salient aspects of my record of public service in response to your charge; challenge your claim to debt relief, and your reason for not saving; highlight your forgery of economic statistics and the lies in your response; but most importantly re-focus our attention to the historic mismanagement of our economy which you carefully avoided.

5. I will show that while you are introducing austerity measures and soon to immiserate the citizens, our public finance is haemorrhaging to the point that estimated over N30 trillion is missing or stolen or unaccounted for, or simply mismanaged— under your watch! We can’t go on like this, and I am convinced that an alternative future is possible. Can we have a public debate on this alternative future? The issues at stake are too grave to be trivialized through name calling. As I write, the naira exchange rate to the dollar is at N215 (from N158 a few months ago) and unless oil price recovers, this is just the beginning.  For the sake of Nigeria, I won’t keep quiet anymore!

6. Let me start with Madam’s rather comical, wild judgment on my tenure of office which I believe to be totally false and baseless. I apologise upfront that in the process of making a ‘personal defence’, it is difficult to avoid a rather uncomfortable emphasis on “I”. I did not want that but since Madam has dragged us this low, I have little choice but to do so in the next few paragraphs—just to keep the record straight!

7. 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. 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) and as my immediate bosses, below are their written testimonials of my record.

8. Said President Obasanjo (December 2004):

“Charles Soludo is a true Nigerian. He is the sort of Nigerian that we all know we can rely on. Among his numerous virtues is COURAGE. I have found in him a man who can take tough and realistic decisions, stand his ground, educate others on the salience of his decision, and work very hard to ensure that the decision is efficiently and effectively implemented. His dedication to duty is first rate. His leadership qualities are admirable and his willingness to listen and learn is simply infectious. Professor Soludo has within a short time emerged as one of the leading lights of our nation. Not because he has a godfather but by sheer hard work, loyalty, dedication to duty, commitment to the nation, creativity, and undiluted association with the reform agenda….”

9. President Yar’Adua (May 2009) had the following to say about the Central Bank of Nigeria under my leadership:

“… the CBN has performed creditably well in delivering on its core mandates. This is especially even more so in the last five years. Most people would agree that without the successful banking consolidation and effective management of our foreign reserves, the current global crisis would have shaken the financial system and our national economy to their foundations with calamitous consequences”.

In the President’s special letter of commendation after the completion of my tenure of office, President Yar’Adua (June 2009) had the following to say to me:

“As your tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria comes to a glorious end, I write on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria to place on record our debt of gratitude to you for your dedicated service and uncommon sense of duty over the past five years. I am confident that your worthy antecedents in the CBN and in prior appointments in the service of our nation remain sources of inspiration to an entire generation. As I wish you even more astounding successes in the years ahead, it is my fervent hope that you will readily avail us of your distinguished service when the need arises in the future”.

11. To the best of my knowledge, President Obasanjo has not changed those views even after ten years. The views of my two bosses, not the emotional outburst of an angry person desperate to get even, are what count.

12. How did Nigerians evaluate my public service? Unfortunately, we do not have scientific opinion polls on job approval ratings for individual public officers. But if the public opinions of individuals and organized groups (labour, employers, depositors, borrowers, stakeholders of the financial institutions, newspaper editorials, investors, etc) as expressed in thousands of newspaper/magazine clips during and after my tenure are anything to go by, then 82% of the public largely agree with the sentiments expressed by my two bosses. Your views belong to the other 18% which is okay, after all, no one is perfect.

13. Five Nigerian newspapers and magazines simultaneously named us “man of the year” in one year— unprecedented in Nigeria’s history. I do not talk about hundreds of awards and recognitions by various segments of our society (during and even after service) for “excellent public service”. I was particularly touched by the historic award by the staff union of the Central Bank and the tears in the eyes of many as thousands of the staff gave me a standing ovation as I walked the aisle after my brief farewell speech.

14. Certainly, the international community (investors, bankers, scholars, donors, media, etc) took serious notice of the revolution in Nigeria’s monetary and financial system. I am recipient of five international awards as global and African central bank governor of the year, not to mention dozens of other recognitions (even after leaving office). The London Financial Times described us as “a great reformer”. Even as the global economic and financial crisis raged in 2008, the United Nations General Assembly appointed me to serve on the Commission of Experts to reform the international monetary and financial system. You don’t appoint someone who has ‘mismanaged’ his national financial system to reform the global system.

15. For 8 years until 2012, I served on the chief economist advisory council (CEAC) of the World Bank, and together with two Nobel Prize winners in economics and other experts we met periodically and advised two presidents and two chief economists of the World Bank, and in 2011, I served on the External Advisory Group of the IMF.  Again, these are not positions for ‘mis-managers’. Since I left office, I have been advising countries and central banks; and there is hardly any two months I don’t consult/advise on banking/financial and monetary policy. I have given these illustrations to make the point that for every one Okonjo-Iweala’s attempt to rewrite history, there are thousands who disagree.

16. Now, to some skeletal facts of our stewardship! I will be brief as I have a whole book to tell my story. As chief economic adviser, I had advised that our banking system could not support the private sector-led economy envisioned under NEEDS. When I assumed office at CBN, I inherited 89 rickety, mostly family banks (all of which put together were not up to the size of number four bank in South Africa). Many were insolvent, with depositors’ money trapped, and 20 more about to collapse. To get a credit of $300 million probably required all the banks to syndicate it. For me, there was a national emergency. I drafted a 13-point reform agenda, discussed and agreed all the specifics with the President, and his VP; as well as my management team at the CBN, and we swung into action. President Obasanjo promised 100% support and actually delivered 1000%— which was decisive. I apologize to you Madam because I did not brief or inform you about it. We just wanted to keep it confidential given the sensitivity of the announcement. It is on record that you never supported it.

17. It was both a revolution and a war and most people thought it was “impossible”, but thank God we succeeded. For the first time in Nigeria’s history a policy of that magnitude was announced and deadline kept with precision.  We were courageous to revoke the licenses of 14 banks, including those of my friends, in one day. The FT-Banker concluded that the scale, precision, and cost of the transformation were unprecedented in the world. Before then, Malaysia had the least cost of banking consolidation at 5% of Malaysian GDP. It did not cost Nigerian taxpayers one penny.

18. Twenty-five new, stronger banks emerged but the powerful idea behind consolidation ignited something even more powerful—‘the race to the top’. Banks raised more capital, and even banks like First Bank, Zenith, GTB, etc that did not merge with others went on capital raising several times. The consequence was higher levels of capitalization and within two years, 14 Nigerian banks were in the top 1000 banks in the world and two in the top 300 (no Nigerian bank was in the top 1000 before I came). Even after I left office, still 9 banks were in the top 1000. Our vision was to have a Nigerian bank in the top 100 banks within 10 years. As I see the new Access bank; Zenith, GTB, Fidelity, Diamond, UBA, FBN, FCMB, Skye, Stanbic IBTC, Union, Ecobank, etc, I cannot but feel that we have taken giant steps forward.

19. Deposits and credit soared (from barely N1.2 trillion to over N7 trillion); new technologies (ATM and e-banking) boomed, and banks had 57,000 new jobs; mega businesses emerged (ask any major operator in the Nigerian economy their experience with banking and credit before and after Soludo —the Dangotes, Arik, MM2, oil and gas operators; etc); capital market boomed and dominated by the banking sector. It was a new dawn for Nigerian private sector. I have heard Dangote twice say that he would not be near as big as he is today without the banking consolidation. Many other stakeholders still say it today. FDI and portfolio inflows flooded into Nigeria. The world celebrated, and one single transformative idea has changed the face of the private sector and economy forever.  Banks became Nigeria’s first transnational corporations with about 37 branches outside of Nigeria.

20. Nigeria survived the global crisis because of this, and it is the banking sector that has largely been powering the economic growth you claim (compare banks trillions of naira credit for investments in the productive sector with your government’s miserable expenditure on critical infrastructure and investment; much of your borrowing – bonds – is from the banks). Your privatization of power sector, several PPP projects on infrastructure, etc, are now possible because of the mega banks.

21. Today, Nigerian banks syndicate multi-billion dollar loans— unthinkable before. Madam, if the consolidation was ‘mismanaged’, there would not have been any bank to start with in the aftermath of the global crisis— as President Yar’adua correctly pointed out. Even you, during a recent presentation at the Banquet Hall in Abuja advertised consolidation as a historic achievement. How can you recognize a ‘mis-managed’ project as an outstanding achievement? As we say in Igbo, you can’t cover the moon with your palms.

22. Let me be clear: the quantum size of the new banks following consolidation presented challenges of risk management and supervision. We deployed all we had and overworked the CBN staff. The carry-over of bad loans from the consolidated banks was quickly cleaned up. To the best of my knowledge, we instituted stringent regulatory and supervisory regime (consistent with best practices at the time). We even had resident examiners in the banks and required bank MDs to personally sign their reports to CBN. I recall that the former MD of GTB complained of “regulatory intrusiveness”.

23. To our credit, non-performing loans (NPL) came down from 22% in 2003 and 2004 to 6% as at 2008. Anywhere in the world, a central bank that brought NPL from 22% to 6% over a four year period does not look like one with a loose supervisory regime. Name other developing countries that performed better, Madam. So, on point of fact, Madam lied. Yours was a reckless assertion without basis by a Finance Minister.

24. The banks in Nigeria were supervised by the CBN and NDIC, but other institutions— international firms which audited them, international rating agencies which also examined their books, capital market operators since most were listed companies — all had oversight. I put on record that there was never any information/report of infractions by any bank which was brought to my attention and which we did not act upon decisively during my tenure. I heard the comment that some of the bank MDs were my friends.

25. Well, my response is that perhaps as CME you should kill all your friends operating in the economy or become their enemies. For the record, my successor audited all the banks and none of my so-called friends was indicted. It speaks volumes. Indeed, it is also a fact that the alleged personal criminal infractions (including lapses in corporate governance Madam alluded to) by some bank CEOs were found out, only AFTER they had been removed from office.

26. My successor told me that the comprehensive audit of the banks did not reveal such infractions. Of course, you must be God or have a special tip-off from inside to get to such information while the MDs are in office. Unfortunately, all over the world, no financial system has succeeded in routing out all criminal behaviours by the operators. So, Madam, I challenge you to provide one shred of evidence that ‘there was no separation between regulators and regulated’ or be honourable enough to retract your reckless statement.

27. What happened? The unanticipated and unprecedented crisis of 2008/09 hit the world. More than 40 US and European banks either collapsed or were shaken badly (remember the Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Wachovia, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, even UBS, etc) and hundreds of billions of dollars were spent to bail them out. The contagion effects spread like a wild fire, destroying national stock markets and banks. The nascent (big) banks in Nigeria faced sudden multiple shocks— liquidity, exchange rate, oil price, capital market, etc.

28. As oil prices collapsed, loans to oil and gas became non-performing overnight; loans to the capital market became non-performing overnight; etc.  Our first priority was to save the entire banking system and the economy from systemic collapse. I assured Nigerians that no bank would be allowed to fail, and not many people know what it took to achieve it. Once we had navigated through the unexpected /unprecedented turbulence, we laid out a comprehensive plan to clean up the debris which we presented to stakeholders in Lagos (March 2009). I had pleaded with the Senate to pass the AMCON bill which we sent to them in 2004. But I had a comprehensive plan to finish the clean-up with or without AMCON by the end of 2009, including second round consolidation and a N500 billion fund (my book will detail all these). I left behind an 11-volume document of the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS2020) which has remained the policy roadmap for the CBN/financial sector since I left office.

29. I have two analogies for our experience. Ours was really like an airplane that was cruising and suddenly meets an unexpected and unprecedented turbulence. After the pilots and the crew succeed in navigating through the potential crash and probably land the airplane, people look in and start blaming the crew for the broken tea cups, chairs, and drinks that fell during the turbulence as evidence that the crew never kept the airplane clean or serviced it. My second analogy is that of a sudden earthquake in a region it was never expected and some houses collapsed. All of a sudden, the housing authority is to blame for not requiring earthquake-proof foundations for the houses. Well, my legal experts call it force majeure, an act of nature!

30. To be fair, after every crisis, there are lessons (and my book will detail what, with benefit of that experience, we should have done differently). Risk management— which has always been there— now took a new centre stage all over the world following the crisis. But for anyone to suggest that CBN under me, for one minute, took its eyes off the ball is, to say the least, ludicrous. The US financial system literally crippled the world costing America hundreds of billions of dollars but no one has suggested that Alan Greenspan is no longer the great maestro!

31. AMCON is a big topic (which I will address at a later date) but her claims show either ignorance or mischief. She claims that N5.7 trillion of AMCON funds was used to rescue banks and the ‘bond issued’ as ‘cost to taxpayers’. Really? I will deal with the AMCON I envisaged and the AMCON under you later but let me state that even if 100% of the banks’ NPL was offloaded on AMCON, it would not be up to N5.7 trillion. Enough said for now. The fact is that the Federal Government has not put a penny in the AMCON fund: the banking system is financing itself, and together with the sinking fund by banks, AMCON surely can’t default (thanks to consolidation that the banks are now big enough to cough out such funds to solve the system’s problem). Did you intend to deceive the readers by refusing to tell them that much of the AMCON fund is ‘investment’ and not ‘expense’. Am sure you heard the IMF’s alarm about moral hazard? If you want, we can have a focused debate on AMCON.

32. Next, let me briefly respond to a few outlandish claims. She brags about ‘single-digit’ inflation rate ‘now’ and alleges that when I left office, inflation was above 13%. I just laughed at this one. 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. It was not for nothing that the world cheered us as monetary policy czar, Madam! Perhaps you are also not aware that we broke a world record by having a depreciated real effective exchange rate during a time of export boom and this was at the heart of our reserve accumulation and the portfolio/FDI inflows.

33. I resisted the IMF advice to deplete reserves for liquidity management, and Nigeria had enough self-insurance to survive the global crisis.  The opposite has happened under you Madam, and the Nigerian economy is in trouble. Naira exchange rate appreciated under me from N133 to N117 before the global crisis; and reserves grew to all time high of $62 billion. For the first time since 1986, the official, interbank and parallel market exchange rates converged under me. You can’t match these records!

34. I hereby challenge your attempt to blame others for not saving for the rainy day. It is not a virtue when you are quick to appropriate all the credit when things are going well, but shift the blame when they go wrong. You blame the state governors— who, according to you, have taken the Federal Government to the Supreme Court—not that a Supreme Court judgment forced your hands.

35. For your information, the governors have never agreed to savings and always threatened court action even under Obasanjo. Why did we save under Obasanjo but not under Jonathan? Two keywords explain it: leadership and integrity.  Governor Amaechi said the governors insisted on sharing the funds because they found out that you were illegally fiddling with the savings.  So, as Nigerians still wonder, if billions of dollars are now ‘missing’ under your nose, why should governors trust you to keep their money?

36. Do the states that have taken the federal government to the Supreme Court and refused to save also include the PDP governors—who are in the majority? If so, then it is fatal: even governors of your own party, PDP, do not trust you to keep their money! Furthermore, did the governors also stop the Federal Government from saving part of its share? If you ran a surplus budget at the Federal level, you would have had credibility to blame others or to say they did not listen to your advice. The key point is that since you were running huge deficits yourself, it was also in your own interest to share the ECA. You did not show leadership or credibility, full stop!

37. Next, Madam, I was really embarrassed for you to read that one of the reasons for declining forex reserves is ‘oil theft’. Under you as Minister of Finance and coordinator of the economy, the basket of our national treasury is leaking profusely from all sides. Just a few illustrations! First, you admit that ‘oil theft’ has reduced oil output from the average 2.3 – 2.4 million barrels per day (mpd) to 1.95mpd (meaning that at least 350,000 to 450,000 barrels per day are being ‘stolen’. On the average of 400,000 per day and the oil prices over the past four years, it comes to about $60 billion ‘stolen’ in just four years.

38. In today’s exchange rate, that is about N12.6 trillion. This is at a time of cessation of crisis in the Niger Delta and amnesty programme. Can you tell Nigerians how much the amnesty programme costs, and also the annual cost for ‘protecting’ the pipelines and security of oil wells? And the ‘thieves’ are spirits? Come on, Madam!

39. Second, my earlier article stated that the minimum forex reserves should have been at least $90 billion by now and you did not challenge it. Rather it is about $30 billion, meaning that gross mismanagement has denied the country some $60 billion or another N12.6 trillion.

40. Now add the ‘missing’ $20 billion from the NNPC. You promised a forensic audit report ‘soon’, and more than a year later the Report itself is still ‘missing’. This is over N4 trillion, and we don’t know how much more has ‘missed’ since Sanusi cried out. How many trillions of naira were paid for oil subsidy (unappropriated?).  How many trillions (in actual fact) have been ‘lost’ through customs duty waivers over the last four years? As coordinator of the economy, can you tell Nigerians why the price of automotive gas oil (AGO), popularly called diesel,  has still not come down despite the crash in global crude oil prices, and how much is being appropriated by friends in the process?  Be honest: do you really know (as coordinator and minister of finance) how many trillions of Naira, self- financing government agencies earn and spend? I have a long list but let me wait for now. I do not want to talk about other ‘black pots’ that impinge on national security.

41. My estimate, Madam, is that probably more than N30 trillion has either been stolen or lost or unaccounted for or simply mismanaged under your watchful eyes in the past four years. Since you claim to be in charge, Nigerians are right to ask you to account. Think about what this amount could mean for the 112 million poor Nigerians or for our schools, hospitals, roads, etc. Soon, you will start asking the citizens to pay this or that tax, while some faceless “thieves” were pocketing over $40 million per day from oil alone.

42. You alluded to debt relief in your response and tried to take credit. Well, your CV is honest enough to admit that your two achievements in office as Finance minister under Obasanjo were that “you led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club” and that you “introduced the practice of publishing each state’s monthly financial allocation in the newspapers”. You are right about the two achievements. Let me put on record that Nigeria would have secured debt relief under anyone as Minister of Finance. President Obasanjo secured debt relief for Nigeria. Much of his first term was used to get Nigeria back into the international community and to campaign for debt relief. Before you were sworn in as Minister of Finance, President Bush visited Nigeria and both of us accompanied President Obasanjo during the meeting. There, Mr. Bush promised to support Nigeria with debt relief and asked our president to ensure that he met the conditions of the Paris Club. Obasanjo mobilized the global political support and coordinated all of us to ensure that the government met the check-list of ‘conditionalities’ as required.  I spent five weeks in the hotel with my team (as coordinator/chairman for drafting the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, NEEDS).

43. Some of the reform targets in NEEDS became the ‘conditionalities’ Nigeria was required to fulfil to merit debt relief. You and I signed the various MoU with the IMF on behalf of Nigeria (the policy support instrument). We had a great team at work and each member of the economic team had specific aspects of the conditionalities to deliver: Bode Agusto was in-charge of the budget; Oby Ezekwesili held sway at Bureau of Public Procurement and later Minister of Solid Mineral, and Education (but specifically tasked with delivering on EITI and procurement reforms); Nuhu Ribadu was at the EFCC fighting corruption; I was at the Central Bank delivering on monetary policy and banking reforms; Steve Oronsaye worked hard to delist Nigeria from the FATF; Nenadi Usman was in-charge of the parastatals; El-Rufai held forth at FCT and in charge of public sector reforms; privatization programme went on, etc. Did you know that the IMF wrote President Obasanjo threatening that there would be no debt relief if the CBN did not meet some monetary targets, and do you know the magic we performed to meet them? Can you tell Nigerians which of the ‘conditionalities’ that you personally implemented? With the groundswell of political support and Nigeria meeting all the ‘conditionalities’, debt relief was assured.

44. Your major role as stated in your CV was to lead the team to negotiate the specific terms of the relief, having fulfilled the conditions. I still believe that Nigeria should have gotten far better terms than you negotiated. Of course, with your eyes on returning to the World Bank after office, I did not expect you to boldly stand up to the donor community in defence of Nigeria. Was there a conflict of interest on your part?

45. By the way, can you tell Nigerians why you were eased out as Finance Minister and you cried like a baby begging OBJ to still allow you remain in the Economic Management team—- barely few weeks after the debt relief? Why were you eventually also removed from the economic management team if you were so important?  Ironically, President Jonathan has recycled you, with a bigger title and greater responsibilities. But the difference is that the team that did the actual work is no longer there, and the world has seen that the king is naked.

46. 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.

47. Your response on the poverty issue is deeply troubling. You accuse me of using “2011 statistics on poverty by the NBS to support his argument, while ignoring more recent figures”. At least you did not refute the NBS figure as valid. In the next sentence, Madam went ahead to note that “as stated in the Nigeria Economic Report 2014 by the World Bank, poverty in Nigeria has dropped from 35.2 percent of population in 2010/2011 to 33.1 percent in 2012/2013”. Did you notice that you have quoted two figures for poverty for the same year as being equally correct? So, for 2011, was poverty 71% (according to NBS) or 35% according to the World Bank? To the best of my knowledge, the last published household survey by NBS was in 2011. The World Bank does not conduct household surveys in member states to determine poverty incidence. So, when and by whom was the survey that gave the World Bank figures?

48. What worries me is that this government is the first in our history to attempt to manipulate our national statistics under Okonjo-Iweala. When NBS published the poverty figures in 2011, she felt indicted and incensed. She called upon the World Bank to come and examine the ‘methodology’ and get NBS to ‘review’ its numbers. Oby Ezekwesili (as VP Africa Region rejected the call to try to tamper with a country’s statistics). Once Oby left, the ‘World Bank’ started talking about ‘new figures’, without conducting any new surveys.  I was told about it by a World Bank economist, and I cautioned that it was a dangerous gamble that would damage the credibility of the NBS. If you want to ‘review methodology’, you conduct another survey but you can’t change ‘methodology’ because you don’t like the published figures. No government in our history has tried it: even Sani Abacha allowed a poverty survey that put poverty at 67% under his regime. At this rate, who will believe statistics coming from the Nigerian government again? Is it now the World Bank that sits in Washington and allocates poverty numbers to Nigeria? Something smells here!

49. Madam alleges that the NBS—as a parastatal under the National Planning Commission (under me) departed from the ‘international standard method of poverty measurement’. How and when, Madam? I was in office at National Planning for 11 months from July 2003 to May 2004. A poverty survey was conducted in 2004 and the results computed and published in 2005/2006— more than a year after I had gone to the Central Bank. Or perhaps, it was a clever way to divert attention from your manipulation of published economic statistics. The NBS published its poverty data in 2006 when you were Minister of Finance, and you did not question the ‘methodology’ because the figures looked good. In 2011, the poverty numbers (using the same methodology as in 2005/2006) indicted the government and suddenly, the ‘methodology’ is wrong. Interesting times!

50. Now that you decide which economic statistics published by NBS to accept and which ones to ‘change the methodology’ to give favourable figures, you can keep feeding your manipulated figures to your international media circus for the vain glorious awards to sustain an empty hype, while Nigerians groan under hardship. We can actually ask Nigerians whether they are getting better off now contrary to your bogus figures.

51. Many of Madam’s responses were comical, but this one is classic. According to her, the chief economic adviser and NBS “worked hard to determine how many jobs we need to create in a year”, and went on to ask, “why didn’t Soludo do this when he was CEA?” (Lol!). Madam, any good economist needs less than 10 minutes to compute this figure, not the (months? of) ‘hard work’ by your team. My calculation is that the number of jobs Nigeria needs to create each year to significantly reduce unemployment rate to sustainable levels in the next few years is at least 3 million, and not the 1.8 million by your team. We are talking about the Nigerian economy, please.

52. Your magic wand for mass housing is the Mortgage Refinance Corporation with 23,000 mortgage offers—for a country with 17 million housing deficit! Then, there is the pedestrian proposal of a new development bank— financed with loans from the World Bank, etc? A World Bank loan to set up another ‘development bank’ where we already have Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, NEXIM, Federal Mortgage Bank, etc? People have totally run out of ideas and can’t see anything for Nigeria without through the prism of the World Bank. I will offer you free consultancy on how to set up a development bank without a World Bank loan but we don’t need another one now. I actually gave President Yar’adua a two page note for a N3 trillion development fund then, and if we plug your leaking pipes, it could actually be a N10 trillion Fund. I envisioned and set up the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)—Africa’s premier infrastructure bank!

53. Frankly, I don’t understand why you seem highly troubled that the Soludo you thought had “disappeared from the political space” seems to be still around. Well, let me assure you that I will only ‘disappear’ in God’s own time. I gave credit to two past presidents who laid the foundation of the market economy we operate today. You did not contest or contradict any of my points. Rather, what you see is that Soludo must be ‘looking for a position’. Pity! If I am looking for a position, I would be running around one of the candidates now just as you are busy dancing Atilogwu dance at TAN and PDP rallies, struggling to keep your job. How Yar’adua drafted me to contest for governor in Anambra and APGA leadership as well and how I was “stopped” on both occasions are in the public domain. But I am not deterred for one minute. Chinua Achebe said that on leadership, Nigeria is a country that goes for a football match with its 10th Eleven.

54. I am proud and happy to have offered to serve my people, and for the service of Nigeria, I will do it again and again. How many times did Abraham Lincoln, Obama, Reagan, etc contest before they got there? I actually encourage everyone who believes he/she has something to offer to get involved or stop complaining. I am happy seeing the increasing critical mass of professionals (like you) now getting involved. It is good for Nigeria!

55. What is at stake is the survival and prosperity of Nigeria. Next elections are critical, and for me the key is the ECONOMY. We must offer Nigerians clarity on the choices before them. Can I propose a three-way debate with you (representing PDP/Federal Government), nominee of APC (Utomi or Fayemi? or any other), and myself (as independent citizen— I don’t belong to any of the two). Let us have two bouts of debate between now and 12th February, 2015 focusing on: CBN/AMCON and the financial system (if you want); our economy and its outlook, and agenda/alternative paths to sustainable prosperity post elections. Choose the dates and times, and for the sake of Nigeria, I will fly in. You can invite any of your international media friends as moderators. I feel the pain of the 180 million Nigerians whose tomorrow you have carelessly rendered bleak, and when I think of what the missing trillions could do for them, it becomes extremely urgent that we all must deepen the debate. Eagerly waiting for your response, please

72 Comments

  1. ks

    February 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Soludo has just reacted to Okonjo iweala’s response to his ealier article, thereby demystifying her and her lies. Well let’s hope she will take up the gauntlet for intellectual debate with Soludo as demanded by him. This is the real debate that we all need, not the comedy of errors that usually characterises presidential debates in Nigeria. We need something intellectually stimulating for once!!!!

    • Most Honestly

      February 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Jesu christi nwa david, ala owerri nnem, chineke ekwela ngwere gbaa ajiiii, okay, wait a minute, here i come. I remember vividly when Soludo released the first memo, as usual, we saw all the dirty cans thrown to Soludo, not on what Okonjo Iweala did and the level of fraud perpetrated under her koro koro eyes, and her handlers did was to accuse Soludo of brain damage and greed, hmmmmm we decided to wait until a reply is given by Charles.

      Now, the Lion has replied with yet another more indicting bombshell, and someone will tell me that Nigeria is not changing, chai, we are indeed changing. I challenge you take one post????????

      Madam Iweala, i am not a judge, neither am i a jury, but i can tell for a fact having examined your former reply and Soludo’s exposition in this recent memo, that you Madam, is guilty as charged.

      You are just a bogos noise maker, an anarchist world bank bureaucrat, who instead on helping us, but made our matters worse. Imagine how intelligently Soludo analysed all your lies with real fact and some stay ons, like he said, he is saving them for his book, but i urge Charles to open the pandora box, to shame the devil and make us proud again.

      Madam, it is sad that things are this way, you never even deserved any credit for the so called debt relief after all, the truth is out, so what will you do now, remember last week, my sister told you that your constant reliance on the world economist is a disaster, you brought all these young men and women from the world bank to Nigeria as consultants and advisers to you and your economic advisers, take a walk to the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and see fleets of advisers upon advisers, all are paid heavily without regard to our national monies, all of them are living large in Abuja with private drivers, why, why, madam why, what a wickedness you have unleash on Nigerians?

      We are all ashamed to talk about you now, you have shamed us all. The millions appropriated to the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President alone is more than 2.5 billion, what a shame, what a shame.

      Remember you were sacked and made the Minister of Foreign Affairs for few months, Soludo must be right here, he knows his facts, but am just short of words, you may have stolen all the monies in the world for your children who does nothing but writing and they all live large in the USA, but posterity will never and will not forgive you.

      It was your choice to behave in this shameless way, CME right? our currency is in the toilet, our economy is in the pit and no hope. You have run out of ideas and what else, at least Soludo was there during the global economic meltdown, Nigeria stood cool and still, no shaking, but now, we are in no economic meltdown, just a shock in the oil prices and we are this cold as a nation, too sad
      Many state governors raised this alarm over the depleted excess crude account, what did you do, nothing, just nothing. Please resign, go away and hide your face in shame

      and i must repeat, this woman is part of the most corrupt government Nigeria has ever had.This is the woman who admitted publicly that Diezani is untouchable and went about massaging figures to contradict what Sanusi said was not remitted. Let her accept Prof Soludo’s challenge for an open debate, even on her own terms and convenience, and let the gates of hell be opened, otherwise?

      And if you care to know, this woman Ngozi Okonjo-iweala is not an economist but a glorified hustler who cannot present a growth oriented budget. Under her watch, Sure-P, Needs, Excess Crude Account, Subsidy Payments and the Federation Accounts are all muddled up in a cocktail of lies, deceit and fraud. Everything she has been involved with is just calamity and fraud. Do you know that Maduekwe refused to be answerable to this fool of a woman? Do you know that Stella Odua made her cosign a 500 million loan from China, my boss was at that meeting on this very day, ask questions and the truth will come out.

      And Breaking news, Abachas loot was returned to Nigeria, this woman was among the people that shared the monies, diverted to the brothers COY account, can someone ask her where the Abachas loot that was returned went?

  2. Mgbeke BoyFriend

    February 1, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    This is squeaky bum time. The hornet’s nest has been stirred and the wasps are out encircling the Pandora’s box. Interesting times ahead and like the Igomigodo would say, this is the krinkum krankum.

  3. lol

    February 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    lol who wants to vote for GEJ?

  4. Miss Anonymous

    February 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Hmmmm……how did we get into this mess in the first place? All these allegations and counter allegations. What is the way forward?

  5. Dr.N

    February 1, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    All I can say is, this man is a formidable adversary.
    PS. We want d 3 way debate

    • Mr Right

      February 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Don’t mind him 30 trillion got missing and Nigeria is still alive. When one can’t prove anything rather trying to add up here and there to make up figures.

    • Evolution

      February 4, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      I can see you are demonstrating the opposite of your name Mr Right. Your speech are baseless and Please always think before you post anything. Soludo had in the past managed the economic of Nigeria and knows what his saying.

  6. concerned

    February 1, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Erm, too long for me jare. Haven’t seen reading material this long since I wrote JAMB.
    My own is, February 14th should hurry up and come and pass peacefully so we can hear word.

    • Pipi

      February 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Behold the future of Nigeria! If it was 1000 pictures of celebrities am sure u would meticulously go through it

    • Biodun

      February 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Well said Pipi!! It really is unfortunate.

    • shols

      February 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      And thats why Nigeria is where it is. To read an article that exposes the rut in our economy, its too long. Whereas if its to read gossip stories on linda and who slept with who, you ll champion the cause. Abeg park commot!

  7. Lade

    February 1, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Chaiiii…..Soludo knocked her off totally,but meennn the revelations are so so deep…There is work for the new government coming in!To continue with this is to kuku erase Nigeria from world map!

    • Dolapo

      February 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

      ” 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.” this did it for me. Chai! If u must fight study ur adversary. Nigerians are no longer fools. Feb 14 is gonna be interesting

    • Most Honestly

      February 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Gbam

  8. Funmi

    February 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Hmmmnnnn epic reply. Madam face your work and stop apportioning blames.. $ @ 215 is ridiculous!

  9. ada nnewi

    February 1, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I couldn’t stop clapping for this man after reading through…Now Let me see which of madam’s cronies can reply this article in concise and comprehensible English stating actual facts and occurrences without any insults!!!…..Nigerians use your votes wisely!!!

  10. olivia pope

    February 1, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I read everything….all I can say is OMG

  11. EllesarisEllendil

    February 2, 2015 at 12:24 am

    If you’ve heard Migos “Fight Night” take away the sexual innuendos and that is what Soludo did to NOI. He used a nuke to kill a fly in FFK case though. His use of “Lol!”

  12. Missy J

    February 2, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Wooooowww!!! Madam shouldn’t have said anything ooh just wondering how part 2&3 will be. Gonna need someone to run some damage control for sure.
    I can’t remember who but someone on BellaNaija gave a break down of Madam’s wahala and I think it should be applauded.

  13. wallie

    February 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

    I want to thank God for giving me the patience to read these revelation to the END….God help NIGERIA!…somebody say AMEN!

  14. barewa

    February 2, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I’ve seen it her since!,she keep boosting of world bank job but choose to squize her countrys economy!,unfortunately her Boss is. Bsy signing shambles or is an attempt to loot from behind!,what a pity!,God is watching ur signature!

    • Soraya

      February 2, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Madam understands economics very well but her boss, Jonathan is clueless and is clearly in awe of her- no wonder she has carried on largely unopposed!

  15. Hamid

    February 2, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Soludo for President!! I look forward to that debate though.

  16. Ms

    February 2, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Soludo thank you. I am just praying someone pours out your cankerworms, don’t think you are invisible because we know you were a bloody thief. All the stealing for your self and OBJ and bribery to help you get a spot instead of SLS…coming here and pointing fingers , look at the 4 bk at you. ALL OF YOU , INCLUDING YOU MR COUNSELLOR MUST ANSWER AND FACE THE WRATH. THIEVES

    • Yeye

      February 2, 2015 at 11:47 am

      His first article was not personal he did not point a finger point at any one in particular. But her response article which I will call an attack, was defamation of his character and could cost him future job opportunities. He had to reply back with proof ( I think they can be proved) which he did. The problem is that in clearing his name he also had to show the faulting in her analysis.
      By your response I don’t know if you expected him not to talk/ applaud the mis-mangers/ or be silent, after he thinking #30 trillion Naira is missing from federation account.

      I will put a question to you. please answer honestly. If you own a company and have two managers. One notices that the way a section of the company is ran will bankrupt your business, would you prefer that the manager speaks up? or because he his not perfect watch the whole company crumble?

  17. Williegh

    February 2, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Truth told in an intellectually stimulating manner.
    Soludo, WOW! God help my country.

  18. Ogoja pikin

    February 2, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Madame Ngozi Iweala, how did you allow GEJ incompetency, lack of moral character soil your image and credibility with Nigerians and the way you will be now viewed by the international community? Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is really badluck Ebele Jonathan, hence BEJ. I’m sure you will do a tell-all story after you leave this administration.

    Now madame, the ball is on your court! Prof. Soludo has laid down the gauntlet. I know your attack dogs will discredit him personally, rather than attacking all the bullet points that he raised. But before you do that, we beg you, for the sake of suffering Nigerians, let’s face the facts and let the long suffering masses get some reprieve from these discussions. One possible outcome of the debates will foster better crafted policies that is intended to alleviate poverty in the country.

    As bad as this accusation and counter-accusation is, I personally think it’s good for our political maturity. Let’s have a real discussion on policies, rather than childish high school/facebook type bullying. Now, let the debate begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Face-to-face, that is, NOT in newspapers or on blogs. Nigerians need this badly!!!!

  19. Williegh

    February 2, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Turn it on its head however u may, the truth will always remain what it is. Waiting for members of GEJ’s dummy Corp (FFK, NGF etc) to come spew their usual garbage. SMH for my country. Pls let’s vote wisely come February.

  20. like

    February 2, 2015 at 3:48 am

    I read the write up on another blog but the comments there points out why Nigeria is the way it is… things like NOI and Soludo are igbo and shouldn’t air their linen in public. We really need to move beyond religious and tribal lines.. that being said i expect NOI to respond to Soludo objectively and with public facts like he did…..

  21. peyton

    February 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

    This is lovely…I really take my time to read this…can’t wait for the debate day..

  22. Ayishaa

    February 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Biko on the issue of poverty rate in Nigeria, all u need do is look around and u’ll know things have gone from bad to worse. Madam Okonjo how on earth did ur survey say poverty rate has dropped. I honestly didn’t expect miracles from this woman but I expected integrity. That debate won’t happen. Pdp numbers and popularity are suffering of late, they won’t want to further reduce it if Soludo ends up smashing her head in on national tv.

    • NagosBigBoi

      February 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Like you, me too na the poverty rate na him dey fear me! In April 2014 the world bank listed the top five countries with the largest number of poor people as follows:
      1. India with 33% of the poor people in the world
      2. China with 13%
      3. Nigeria with 7% of the poor people in the world

      For me, the fact tha naija has the 3rd highest population of poor people in the world is more important than if the poverty rate is 71% or 33.1%. We need to lift more people out of poverty!!

  23. Madame Solange

    February 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

    igbo people say na Gbam! Madam Ngo, ng want,- professor says “Can I propose a three-way debate with you (representing PDP/Federal Government), nominee of APC (Utomi or Fayemi? or any other), and myself (as independent citizen— I don’t belong to any of the two). Let us have two bouts of debate between now and 12th February, 2015 focusing on: CBN/AMCON and the financial system (if you want); our economy and its outlook, and agenda/alternative paths to sustainable prosperity post elections. Choose the dates and times, and for the sake of Nigeria, I will fly in. You can invite any of your international media friends as moderators. I feel the pain of the 180 million Nigerians whose tomorrow you have carelessly rendered bleak, and when I think of what the missing trillions could do for them, it becomes extremely urgent that we all must deepen the debate. Eagerly waiting for your response, please! “”

    Abeg abeg abeg Answer us kwa, no stories. Let’s finish this Hian in Igbo parlance.

  24. Madame Solange

    February 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

    The constant problem in Nigeria is that we are averse to criticism. It is a major issue, the moment we can all get over ourselves and takes criticism as a means to forge ahead perhaps we can stop staying 200 years behind time and be in the present.

    • nene

      February 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      gbam!

  25. Kachik

    February 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Look who is talking. Soludo. A naive or rather an intellectual hypocrite who admires and backs Obasanjo. The same Obasanjo who came out of jail with 20K naira but is now one of the richest men in the world. The same Obasanjo who stole Nigeria’s 15 billion USD via an electric powerscam while Nigeria got a zero increase in ourpower grid. That’s Soludo’s man.

    • Changing Faces

      February 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Back your assertion with hard facts… provide links and data! Before you call someone a mad man, won’t you get a psychiatrist’s report?

  26. Ayisha

    February 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Biko on the issue of poverty in Nigeria, all u need do is take a look around and u’ll know things have gone gone bad to worse, so madam Okonjo how on earth did ur survey quote that poverty has decreased. I honestly didn’t expect miracles from this woman but I expected integrity. This debate won’t happen, Pdp numbers have been going down recently, they won’t risk their numbers dwindling again if Soludo manages to publicly humiliate Okonjo on national TV.

  27. vic

    February 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    TKO!!! Words from a man that knows his onion…though long,this article is intriguing and is as concise as it could get unlike okonjo-iwealas long boring ballad/iliad of desperate lamentations …Come Febuhari 14th, let’s all come together to do what is right. Say No To GEJ!

  28. Tinu

    February 2, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Kudos to Soludo, This is a well thought out and fact based reply with no insults. May God help Nigeria and may Nigerians help themselves by voting wisely.

  29. Miss_Flygerian

    February 2, 2015 at 9:32 am

    “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.”

    I couldn’t agree more with Soludo on this part.

  30. Easy n Gentle

    February 2, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Debate between NOI, Charles Soludo and Kayode Fayemi/Pat @UtomiPat should be seriously looked into #ConsigliereDebate. We are know who the brains will be whoever wins, why would i want to listen to GEJ and GMB whose ideas will not be original

  31. Moi

    February 2, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Please can we have this 3-way debate already!!!!!!

  32. Sadique

    February 2, 2015 at 10:37 am

    We as Nigerian should start to reflect this very reality. Take away sentiments, shed away our political difference, look at the facts, we should all be seriously worried.

  33. honey

    February 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I took my time to read, digest and enjoy the article. Very lovely piece backed with facts and figures.
    I now await Madam’s response devoid of name-calling.

  34. Anon

    February 2, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Interesting points he made.

    My question is, how are they different? Two peas in a pod. Once most technocrats get involved in politics, they sully their names. Soludo apart from being OBJ’s “personal banker” while at the helm of CBN, post-CBN he wanted to be Governor in Anambra state and he failed. Of course he has a personal axe to grind with Peter Obi and the PDP hierarchy. NOI is no different. She didn’t accomplish her scorched earth policy first time around. She came back with a bang and in full force. The next person will be no different. It takes turns…

    • Yeye

      February 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Please do you have prove that he is OBJ’s personal banker? And please who do you want to go into politics? If the people who have experience on how the machinery works don’t put there name for the job? I have no knowledge of how Anambra state is ran or doing, but did it grow in strength under Peter Obi?

    • Anon

      February 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Proof not prove.

      And please who do you want to go into politics? If the people who have experience on how the machinery works don’t put there name for the job?

      I was taught in nursery school not to start a sentence with “and.”
      The sentence that starts with “if” has a redundant question mark.
      Their not there.

      I have no knowledge of how Anambra state is ran or doing, but did it grow in strength under Peter Obi?

      Run not ran.

      When you can articulate yourself properly, I may just answer your questions. Until then, keep trolling!

    • Yeye

      February 2, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      @Anon thanks for pointing out that my initial response was flawed with grammatical errors. I would have loved to indulge you, but I know you don’t have the answer to the questions I raised. So I will make statements and not ask questions.
      In the same writing that you accused politics of being a name destroyer, you destroyed a man’s name and belittled his achievements.
      You confused Soludo losing the Anambra election with his competency for the job. With examples like the last Ekiti state gubernatorial election, winning an election in Nigeria does not appear to require competency as a criteria.

    • honey

      February 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Oga anon 12.51, this is not an English competition o. You guys will come here and be forming “i dont s–t”. The fact remains she has made her point and the onus is on you to convince us otherwise without abusing.
      Same thing we have all been chiding NOI for. SMH for you

  35. ms.b

    February 2, 2015 at 11:38 am

    70% of Nigerians have no idea about this economic brouhaha, they are the ones who actually queue up to vote. The remaining 30 purposely have no pvc, r in diaspora, would dodge voting due to fear but will keep active on social media and act like they actually give a danm. Nigeria our country!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      ms.b, your statement just completely surmarised an article I wrote last week on that subject (another blog) – Our reality regarding the 70%.

      That 70% will be making a huge chunk of the decision for the rest of us and guess what their own fact-finding process is going to be based upon? I don’t agree with you that the other 30% are refusing or neglecting to vote as a whole but I’m certainly reading the back and forth between Ngozi and Soludo, also sharing your question about how the crucial 70% voting mass are perceiving these issues.

  36. Soraya

    February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Madam Ngozi is a brilliant economist but Nigeria has plenty of other brilliant economists also- so how come only Ngozi was seen fit to be CME twice???

  37. lmao

    February 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    because soludo spoke english doesnt mean he was right….we need to be careful at the things we actually listen to and admire.this is politics any strategy is acceptable.

    • fiona

      February 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      @lmao did ngozi okonjo write in latin, it was also english naa, its the facts in soludo’s content that we are applauding not the extent of their vocabulary

  38. niola

    February 2, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    infact i only read the first paragraph and just had to comment, as im so impressed and excited i just put my office calender as busy oooo…. i will now go back to read the whole thing an dnow write part 2 of my comment like soludo! heh heh heh

  39. Yeye

    February 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Why do people get defensive when politician/ officials out each other especially when they want to get appointed or reappointed for their jobs ? The more the outing ( backed with proof o) merrier. Also People really need to stop making statement that they can’t prove (like OBJ is one of the world’s richest men, Soludo is OBJ’s personal banker, OBJ stole 15 billion) as that is slander. Words can kill, especially if they are false.
    I enjoyed the article. Looking forward to his book.

  40. Fume

    February 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    “But the difference is that the team that did the actual work is no longer there, and the world has seen that the king is naked”. This did it for me, he answered with facts. I am impressed with this man and cant wait for the three way debate. Kilode! Mama Okonji you come and answer

  41. Mazi

    February 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Unfortunately, as the Emir of Kano, Sanusi can’t make an input into this debacle. Because if he talks ehn…

  42. Mz Socially Awkward...

    February 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I just copied and pasted his response into a word document. I’m going to be doing that for the rest of his series and also for NOI’s earlier response as well as any future ones she makes.

    A lot of these statements need to be kept, re-read and revisited as we try and understand exactly what the hell has been going on with our economy these past few years and where in God’s name we’re heading to from here.

  43. Steve

    February 2, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I read the article with so much awe for Soludo. Sadly this only reiterates the facts that we know but Nigerians are not the type to go out and seek for truth themselves. You have those who sit at home and believe everything the government says or writes in the papers and those that think it’s a war between Igbos and Hausas or would I say Christians and Muslims. I would keep saying it, this government has failed over and over again and whoever is denying this fact is just the enemy Nigeria has. We have to stop politicizing everything and begin to deal with hard facts and evidence. Sadly the people never realize who has the real power (the voters). Soludo, this is also a great way to advertise your book as I am already looking forward to it.

  44. Most Honestly

    February 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Jesu christi nwa david, ala owerri nnem, chineke ekwela ngwere gbaa ajiiii, okay, wait a minute, here i come. I remember vividly when Soludo released the first memo, as usual, we saw all the dirty cans thrown to Soludo, not on what Okonjo Iweala did and the level of fraud perpetrated under her koro koro eyes, and her handlers did was to accuse Soludo of brain damage and greed, hmmmmm we decided to wait until a reply is given by Charles.

    Now, the Lion has replied with yet another more indicting bombshell, and someone will tell me that Nigeria is not changing, chai, we are indeed changing. I challenge you take one post????????

    Madam Iweala, i am not a judge, neither am i a jury, but i can tell for a fact having examined your former reply and Soludo’s exposition in this recent memo, that you Madam, is guilty as charged.

    You are just a bogos noise maker, an anarchist world bank bureaucrat, who instead on helping us, but made our matters worse. Imagine how intelligently Soludo analysed all your lies with real fact and some stay ons, like he said, he is saving them for his book, but i urge Charles to open the pandora box, to shame the devil and make us proud again.

    Madam, it is sad that things are this way, you never even deserved any credit for the so called debt relief after all, the truth is out, so what will you do now, remember last week, my sister told you that your constant reliance on the world economist is a disaster, you brought all these young men and women from the world bank to Nigeria as consultants and advisers to you and your economic advisers, take a walk to the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and see fleets of advisers upon advisers, all are paid heavily without regard to our national monies, all of them are living large in Abuja with private drivers, why, why, madam why, what a wickedness you have unleash on Nigerians?

    We are all ashamed to talk about you now, you have shamed us all. The millions appropriated to the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President alone is more than 2.5 billion, what a shame, what a shame.

    Remember you were sacked and made the Minister of Foreign Affairs for few months, Soludo must be right here, he knows his facts, but am just short of words, you may have stolen all the monies in the world for your children who does nothing but writing and they all live large in the USA, but posterity will never and will not forgive you.

    It was your choice to behave in this shameless way, CME right? our currency is in the toilet, our economy is in the pit and no hope. You have run out of ideas and what else, at least Soludo was there during the global economic meltdown, Nigeria stood cool and still, no shaking, but now, we are in no economic meltdown, just a shock in the oil prices and we are this cold as a nation, too sad
    Many state governors raised this alarm over the depleted excess crude account, what did you do, nothing, just nothing. Please resign, go away and hide your face in shame

    and i must repeat, this woman is part of the most corrupt government Nigeria has ever had.This is the woman who admitted publicly that Diezani is untouchable and went about massaging figures to contradict what Sanusi said was not remitted. Let her accept Prof Soludo’s challenge for an open debate, even on her own terms and convenience, and let the gates of hell be opened, otherwise?

    And if you care to know, this woman Ngozi Okonjo-iweala is not an economist but a glorified hustler who cannot present a growth oriented budget. Under her watch, Sure-P, Needs, Excess Crude Account, Subsidy Payments and the Federation Accounts are all muddled up in a cocktail of lies, deceit and fraud. Everything she has been involved with is just calamity and fraud. Do you know that Maduekwe refused to be answerable to this fool of a woman? Do you know that Stella Odua made her cosign a 500 million loan from China, my boss was at that meeting on this very day, ask questions and the truth will come out.

    And Breaking news, Abachas loot was returned to Nigeria, this woman was among the people that shared the monies, diverted to the brothers COY account, can someone ask her where the Abachas loot that was returned went?

  45. Noms

    February 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Its a lengthy read and very enlightening especially if this is the truth, and nothing but the truth.
    The way these politicians spend money is alarming. . . 30 Trillion. . .
    This same Madam and her parents and children were celebrated as Harvard graduates(generational harvard) and someone commented that all the children do is WRITE???Wetin dem dey write i beg…forgive my ignorance.
    I have asked before where all the returned loot where kept but maybe I didn’t ask the right persons. Mr Charles, please help locate the money. Now they are clamoring for the return of the money Ibori stole, where will it be sent to? In my opinion it should be sent back to my state but again. . .who dem go use the money help?
    I’m copying and saving this whole revelation, accusation, denial. . .saga.
    The government of the day should know by now that it is no longer business as usual.
    The supposed incoming “changers” are they aware of this?
    May the Lord disappoint the devices of the crafty and may their hands not carry out their enterprise. . .IJN
    God bless and keep Nigeria

  46. nene

    February 2, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    And he has spoken… i sense great honesty in this article. the best quote here is “As coordinator of the economy, can you tell Nigerians why the price of automotive gas oil (AGO), popularly called diesel, has still not come down despite the crash in global crude oil prices,” Oil prices have crashed around the world but not in Nigeria.

  47. nene

    February 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    i always said it that ngozi okonji iweala is not working for nigeria, only she knows who her bosses are. the woman is a snake. Jonathan must go now with his incompetent team!

  48. intheoverseas

    February 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for this Shols, I love how this site is filled with people that have low tolerance for pedestrian minds. It so irks when I see the level of laziness and non-chalance readers like Mr Right display when reading articles that relates to serious issues and then for the mundane things that is when they will comment and dissect! Hiss!

  49. intheoverseas

    February 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    sorry I meant “concerned” not “Mr Right”

  50. nawah

    February 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    If ever I want to point accusing fingers to madam,ever since I was young,i always had a problem with dt her neck,see aw – it z,as if she stuffd all our money therein….Lord have mercy like madea would say

  51. NG

    February 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    But it is true. Too worthy and therefore too long. Succinct precise response would do or do we want to spend the rest of our lives on Soludo and Madam CM?
    I need to create time to read it all as i just must, what choice do i have in this hot debate.

  52. NG

    February 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Hmnnnnn! I managed to read through it all at last. Not being an economist, i cant have much contribution to make on the hard facts/points. Of course I believe the end is not in sight yet on the fireworks. Over to Madam CM and her team.

    However, i got really scared, in fact trepidatious by the realisation of what a president is supposed to digest- somewhat at least- to be an effective leader of his/her team and am i like, seriously, is it Sai GMB that the people on this comment thread imagine will be able to comprehend, process and digest these intricacies of economic requirements to lead a team (government) to get Naija to the next level? Seriously people, are we talking about the same GMB for this job?

    Jonah is ‘clueless’ right? ok, but people, GMB has no credential to challenge the Jonah we see today. Not if Soludo’s insight into what it takes to drive economic policies of a country are true.

    But then i say, God help Naija. Where is the saviour?

  53. Deguzza

    February 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I am not Soludo is saint but he has his facts and figures right. He rightly stated what he achieved as a CBN governor which all Nigerians can attest to. The shady things he did, I dont care to know. Madam Ngozi only gives us world bank reports and some other survey by international bodies. She said poverty level in Nigeria has reduced, I doubt it because we are the people on the street and we can boldly say the poverty level in Nigeria is increasing. GEJ is a good man but surrounds himself with intellectual hypocrites and sycophants. If Soludo as a CBN governor did not iniitiate the Banking consolidation, I am very sure most Nigerians would have returned to the era of putting their money in their pillow or thrift collectors because all the banks would have collapsed. I respect this man a lot, He insults madam and her ilks in a very intellectual manner not the chair throwing tantrums of madam and the FKKs. That FKK should just go back to Ife and sleep. Hope madam will accept the challenge of a debate but that might be in 2045…

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