Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo means different things to different people. To me, Charlie Nwa Mgbafor as he is fondly called is a metaphor for Excellence. Soludo graduated with a First class in Economics from UNN and was the overall best in the department and faculty in his undergraduate studies. Also, he had distinction and was the best in the his MSc and PhD program. Soludo became a professor in his 30s___ this is a phenominal feat at that time and still remains so now. Some people would ask me what Charlie Nwa Mgbafor means. It means Charlie the son of Mgbafor. Soludo told us that he lost his mother at a very young age and the mother desired that he would go to school and become great in life, hence the name that he fondly calls himself Charlie Nwa Mgbafor. However, Soludo’s father who clocked 90 years this year is alive___ hale and hearty. It is worthy of note that Soludo is the 2nd Igbo man to be a CBN governor. The first was Paul Agbai Ogwuma who was CBN governor between 1993 and 1999. Also, when Soludo get sworn in on 17th March 2021, Soludo would be the 2nd CBN governor to be the the governor of a state. The first being Dr. Clement Isong whose portrait is on the N1,000 note. Isong was the governor of Old Cross state(which comprised the present day Crosss rivers state and Akwa Ibon state) between 1979 and 1984.
Below are some of the reasons Ndi Anambra wants Soludo to be the next governor
Integrity and resolution to lead Anambra: Upon leaving office as CBN governor in July 2009, Soludo contested for governorship election under PDP. The election was held in February 2010. Peter Obi won the election and Soludo came 3rd in the election. Soludo immediately defected to APGA and had remained in APGA since 2010 till date. His is unlike typical Nigerian politicians that move from one political party to another for political appointment or to contest for one position or another. Also, Soludo has remained resolute in what he wants and that is to lead the people of Anambra. He never contested for Senate position even when it governorship didn’t work out.
His understanding of Economics and the Nigerian Economy: Anambra is a state known for commercial activities. Nnewi and Onitsha are commercial hubs of south east. Anambra needs someone that has a good knowledge of Economics to bring more investment opportunities in the state. As an Economist, he will formulate policies that will attract investment and foster trade and commerce that the state is known for. Let’s not forget that Soludo used his influence to attract the Bank of Industry in Awka and the Central Bank of Nigeria in Awka when he was the CBN governor.
Education: Anambra is one of the states in the country with the highest literacy rate. Soludo is a professor, he was a lecturer (the lectured in UNN and in foreign universities). He values education so much. Most importantly he understands what education in 21st century means. He once said that the curricula need to be reviewed to include digital skills such as automation, machine learning robotics that are the main drivers of the 4th industrial revolution that the world is experiencing. In his hometown, he adopted the community school and he pays the teachers, provides learning and teaching materials for both students and teachers. Soludo would ensure that Ndi Anambra get quality and affordable education___ that was exactly what he got in UNN and he became an internationally reputable scholars with that. He will replicate that in Anambra.
Health care: Soludo despite being a public servant who earned salary___ Public servants are not reagrded as being wealthy in Nigeria, yet he building a world class hospital in his hometown __ Isuofia. To whom much is given, much is expected. Soludo would build world class hospitals with the state fund when elected governor.
His Antecedent: Soludo has served as CBN governor between 2004 and 2009 and he introduced alot of making reforms Nigerian banks better stronger and increased the confidence people had on those banks. As a result of the reform, 14 Nigerian banks made it to the list of the top 1000 banks in the world and 2 Nigerian banks made it to the top 300 banks in the world. The banking reform also made fuds available for business and individual to borrow for private investment. As a result of these banking reforms Nigeria was not really affected in the 2007-2009 global financial crisis.Soludo was awarded as the African and global CBN governor of the year in 2005, 2006 and 2007___ 3 consecutive years. Also, the federal government awarded him with the 3rd highest national honour___ Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic.
Soludo worked with the then finance minister___ Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to make Nigeria debt free.
Soludo is highly vocal and courageous: one of the characteristics of a good leader is courage. Soludo had demonstrated courage in When many people were afraid. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he made a publication in national newspapers titles “Can Africa Afford COVID-19 Lockdowns?” He spoke against the lockdown and why it can’t work for African countries especially Nigeria, he stated that the lockdown affects productivity and economic activities, that the government should relax the lockdown. Few days after the publication, the lockdown was relaxed. Soludo also spoke on the release of Nnmadi Kanu after he was still being detained after the court order to grant him bail. Nnamdi Kany was released after Soludo intervened. Soludo has also spoken on other controversial issues such as fiscal federalism, constitutional review, restructuring of Nigeria. Most recently, Soludo openly acknowledged the fact that he is not againt Biafra agitation, that Biafran agitators should be heard. Soludo was courageous enough to speak on these issues without occupying a political position. He will speak more to address the issues facing Ndi Anambra and Ndi Igbo when sworn in by 17th March 2022.