A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has urged Nigerians to demand good governance and accountability from political leaders. Soludo made the call at “The Big Ideas Podium’’ with the theme “Nigeria: The Economics of Failure’’ of the African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage) in Enugu on Tuesday. He said that the…
By Akinsola Omidire
Chief Jude Okonkwo has called on the people of Anambra to support Obiano for a second term. He also declared that FG’s economic policies was killing business.
What is your take on the political situation in Anambra state?
Presently, the political situation is tense, there are many political gladiators contesting for the governorship and the list is growing on a weekly basis. For now, there about eight of them, they include Sen. Andy Uba that has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] to the All Progressives Congress [APC], present APC national auditor, George Moughalu, Alex Obiagbolu, Osita Chidoka, Chike Obidigbo, Ezeemo, and Oseloka Obazee among others. Though it is never easy for a governor to come back, there is no doubt that this second term is going to be a tough challenge for the incumbent governor because there are a whole lot of interests, but Obiano will come out tops based on his antecedents.
What are those antecedents?
For instance, he is doing a great job in terms of housing. The on- going construction works at Baron’s Court Estate and Green Valley Estate, both in Awka Capital Territory of the state are part of the infrastructures he is putting in place. Aside from this, the Ngozika Estate was also completed recently to provide housing for the people.
He has also through the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board [ASUBEB] lifted the academic standards of the state. He has also done well in other sectors like health. His chances are bright.
I am also using this medium to appeal to Senator Andy Uba to jettison his idea of contesting for the governorship position, he should support Obiano for a second term, and by 2021 he can contest.
What is your assessment of the security situation in the state?
The state is experiencing relative peace presently. Crime rate has reduced drastically. Recently, Onitsha residents and traders commended the governor for the clampdown on crimes and criminals in the area. They noted that crime has reduced drastically within the three years he has been the governor compared to what was obtainable in the past when Onitsha and its environs were safe haven for criminals and criminal activities.
How has the recession affected business?
It has really affected business. But government is not making things easy for people, especially we importers. No palliative in place. Why do we have an economic team with the Vice president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as its chairman? Yet solution cannot be proffered. The exchange rate is high, even at that you cannot access the dollar to import your goods. For instance, with your documents in order as an importer, you cannot get it to buy at the Central Bank, it is terrible and killing business. Abroad, shipment on a 40feet container before now was 6000 dollars but it has now dropped to 2000 dollars, a discount of 3000 dollars is being given to importers from the factories overseas because of the exchange rate. Back here in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. Prior to now, a 40 feet container is 1.8 million to clear but presently, it has risen to almost 2.8 million. The tariff is too high, how do we (importers) survive?
Some Nigerians see the war against corruption as being selective, what is your take?
How is it selective? Most of the people that have been in government are members of the PDP because the party has been in power for the last 16years. Now, most of the people being prosecuted for corruption today are from the PDP too. So how could it be selective? Can you name one APC member that was minister in the last 16 years? Seriously, I have heard people say it is selective but I don’t think it is selective because PDP was in charge. But if you are taking the battle to the state level, it can go both ways.
Name one ANPP or ACN person who was a minister or had a top political appointment during the last 16 years? So don’t say it is selective. They are going after people who have been in government and whom they believe took the money.