Soludo given the elbow by govt for sounding economic warning for Nigeria.

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Charles Chukwuma Soludo
Charles Chukwuma Soludo

Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s warning of an impending economic crisis for the country yesterday drew the flaks of the Federal Government, which said he should be held responsible for the bad times the economy is currently facing.

Soludo had warned in an essay published in yesterday’s edition of THISDAY that if pre-emptive measures were not taken now, “Nigeria’s economy is ‘doomed’ to a worse form of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)” and “something will have to give”.

The former CBN helmsman had expressed concern that the government had been piling up domestic and foreign debts with no improvement in the economy.

But the Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, told State House correspondents shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting Wednesday  that Soludo  was until about this time last year the CBN governor and should be held “accountable for all that is happening”.

Maku insisted that the establishment of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) was indeed to address the misdirection and sometimes misapplication of the reforms in the banking sector which government inherited.

Said the minister: “He (Soludo) is a distinguished Nigerian and as you do know, he was CBN governor until slightly over a year ago when he was relieved of his responsibilities and therefore we want to look critically at what he said.

Suffice it to say that in recent months of our participation in government, let me say that we have had reports on the state of our economy submitted by the current CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi, and in that report which was widely circulated, the CBN governor informed council and Nigeria on the state of the economy and that the Nigerian economy is due to grow by seven per cent. This projected growth will increase from year to year as we proceed with the implementation of our programme.

“You know we are in partisan economic times and so every person speaking about the Nigerian economy today, you have to analyse critically why those comments are coming at this critical times.

We know that in the last one year, we have been contending with the issues in the financial sector following the very difficult circumstances we inherited as a result of the misdirection and sometimes misapplication of the reforms in the banking sector and government has struggled with some of this banks and as of today, we want to assure you that the establishment of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria was indeed to address some of the crisis that we inherited.

“Today, the financial sector is stabilising as every report on the economy has shown. Government is determined to grow this economy. We welcome criticisms and comments on government programmes and activities. We don’t take them as offensive but we are confident in the economic policies of this administration and what we are doing to grow the economy.”

We know that in the last one year, we have been contending with the issues in the financial sector following the very difficult circumstances we inherited as a result of the misdirection and sometimes misapplication of the reforms in the banking sector and government has struggled with some of this banks and as of today, we want to assure you that the establishment of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria was indeed to address some of the crisis that we inherited.

“Today, the financial sector is stabilising as every report on the economy has shown. Government is determined to grow this economy. We welcome criticisms and comments on government programmes and activities. We don’t take them as offensive but we are confident in the economic policies of this administration and what we are doing to grow the economy.”

Meanwhile, the FEC yesterday approved the augmentation of contract for completion of the revised estimated total cost for Sabke Dam head work and access road project in Daura local government area of Katsina state, at a cost of N1.2 billion with a 10 months completion period.

According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, the ministry of water resources also sought and got approval for ratification of the law of non-navigational uses on international water course to conform with the legal requirements following its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly.

The ministry also got approval for augmentation for the Owena Water treatment Plant project in the sum of N11.7 billion with a completion period of 24 months.

Sanusi Lamido
Sanusi Lamido

The minister said there is N1 billion provision for the project in the 2010 budget.

Other approvals at the Council meeting were the ratification of the agreement on the functioning of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the signing of the convention on substantive rules regarding intermediate securities which is also known as the Geneva Securities Convention and the ratification of the hosting agreement signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW).

Akunyili said the “the objectives of the convention include the promotion of growth and development of global Capital Markets through establishment of a common legal framework aimed at protecting investors, including legal and associated risks and costs in relation to domestic and cross-border transactions involving intermediated securities

Source: Thisday