Commentary: Professor Chukwuma Soludo, A Man Of The People

Commentary: Professor Chukwuma Soludo, A Man Of The People

There is no doubt that the race to the number one position in Anambra state or any other state for that matter is not meant for mediocre. Governorship seat is an exclusive reverse for great, noble, intelligent and high flying individuals who have been tested in both private and public services and found to be exceptionally excellent, blameless and above board.

Suffice it to say that Professor Chukwuma Soludo is a special gift to Anambra. His profile will take a full book to summarize. The Professor of Economics holds the traditional title of “ODENIGBO Aguata and Orumba”, conferred on him by the 45 communities in Aguata, Orumba North and South local governments as well as ODENJINJI Aguleri.

Prof. Soludo had an exemplary career as an international scholar, philanthropist and devotee to Christian life and duties. In government, the Soludo brand became synonymous with excellence in grand visioning with precision in execution.

One word that summarizes Soludo’s academic, professional and public life is Excellence. With a Distinction Grade in Secondary school, he holds a B.sc, M.Sc and PhD (all First Class) in Economics from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka, winning Departmental, Faculty and University prizes. He also attended over 20 short term courses at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, etc.

Professor Soludo met the requirements for professorship at age of 34, but was promoted at age of 38 as a professor of Economics and has to his credit over 300 publications in journal articles, books, conference papers and monographs. He is also a Fellow of several professional bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigerian Economic Society, as well as Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK. At the heat of the global financial crises in 2008, Professor Soludo was the African member in the 10 — member technical committee set up by the United Nations to design the Agenda for Reforming the International Monetary and Financial System. He equally served as Member of the Chief Executive Advisory Council of the World Bank; Member of the International Advisory group, UK-DFID; Member of the External Advisory Committee, IMF etcetera.

Before he joined the Federal Government in 2003, Prof Soludo lived in the US,UK and Ethiopia and travelled to 45 other countries as an itinerant scholar and consultant to World Bank, IMF; EU; USAID; UK-DFID; African Development Bank; UNDP; UNCTAD; UN; IDRC Canada; African Union; USA; ECOWAS, among many others.

At the Federal Government of Nigeria, Chukwuma Soludo served as Chief Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo; Chief Executive of National Planning Commission; Chairman/Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria; Chairman of Board of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC; founder and founding Chairman of Africa Finance Corporation; chairman or member of over 25 technical committees. He is instrumental to siting of CBN branch in Awka.

His tenure in government was Nigeria’s golden economic era with highest economic prosperity and over 10 million jobs created. Even President Buhari appointed him as a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council. For his distinguished public service, Prof Chukwuma Soludo was awarded the third highest national honour (Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, CFR), and over 200 other national and international awards, including being the triple winner of the African and Global Central Bank Governor of the year 2005, 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, six national newspapers and magazines simultaneously declared him Nigeria’s “Man of the year”, in recognition of his transformation of the Nigerian banking/financial system. The history of Nigeria’s banking system is now divided into two: “before” and “after” Soludo. His Alma Mater, the University of Nigeria, in 2004, honoured him with a special award as “the Most Distinguished Alumnus of the University”. He has been variously recognized internationally among the top 100 most influential Africans.

Back home, Charly Nwa Mgbafor, had a humble beginning. He is a true home boy, deeply rooted among his age grade, village and town. He helped to organize free Extramural studies for secondary school students in Isuofia during long vacation. From age 26, he started training not only his siblings but also others in secondary schools and university.

In 2000, Professor Soludo instituted a scholarship scheme for his people that no person should fail to go to university because of financial constraints and in 2001 he became the pioneer chairman of his village Education Trust Fund-raising, to which he was the highest donor and which granted scholarships and bursaries to indigent students.

For about 12 years, Soludo “adopted” Amoji Primary School, Isuofia, where he provides about 900 pupils every year with free and qualitative education by providing everything they need, including uniform, footwear, games wear, all writing materials, all textbooks, furnished classrooms solar powered computer lab with 40 computers; as well as employing over ten additional graduate teachers.

He also provides facilities in other 5 public schools in Isuofia and currently pays the salaries of about 25 PTA teachers in those other schools among many others. Soludo has the pedigree. He is unequalled to occupy the number one seat in the state to enable him transform Anambra to the Dubai of Africa.

WRITTEN BY SIR JUDE EMECHETA

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