A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Charles Soludo, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan ran the bank like a movie from Uganda under Idi-Amin.
Idi-Amin Dada ruled Uganda with an iron fist between 1971 and 1979 and has been described as one of the most corrupt African rulers.
Mr Soludo said, “Imagine a scenario where a president can order the CBN to create an intervention fund for national stability and CBN literally ‘prints’ say, N3 trillion, and doles it out cash to the Presidency to prosecute an election campaign or for just about anything he fancies. It is a scary thought.
“We are going down a dangerous path that ruins the economy. I don’t know any other country where such is tolerated, except perhaps what I watched in a movie about Idi Amin and his governor of central bank.”
In an interview in the current Business Edition of The Interview, the former CBN governor described the bank as “the ATM of the Presidency,” under Jonathan.
He said it was regrettable that in spite of the bank’s statutory independence, it continues to be a victim of high-wire politics, often “electrocuting” the bank’s leadership.
Mr. Soludo said, “Recent revelations regarding the ‘arms-gate’ (short for the $2.1billion scandal involving former NSA Sambo Dasuki) and the apparent abuse of the CBN as ATM by the presidency should get reasonable people thinking.”
The former CBN governor was one of the ten leading business lights featured in the current edition of The Interview, which provides insights into opportunities and threats in business this year, ranging from manufacturing and power, to banking and investment, small businesses, advertising and jobs.
The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Frank Jacobs, identified foreign exchange restrictions; infrastructure; and high cost of business as the three biggest challenges.
The way forward, he said, “Is to look inwards for the supply of raw materials, prudent management and professionalisation of the workforce.”
Mr Jacobs advised against increased taxes, recommending instead a “widening of the tax net” to improve government revenue.
A statement by the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, described the edition as “the essential business tool for 2016.”
Also featured are the Managing Director of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Ahmed Kuru; the Group Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo; the CEO of Capital Assets, Ariyo Olushekun; the CEO of Complete Communications, Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase; and one of the founders of Jobberman, Opeyemi Owoyemi, among others.