Obasanjo unveils book on how Soludo’s engineered consolidation transformed Nigerian banks

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday unveiled a book on how the Soludo-engineered consolidation transformed Nigerian banks.

Obasanjo was represented by former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, at the unveiling of the book in Lagos.

It was written by Dr Ray Echebiri, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Financial Journalism.

The title of the book is: “The Power of One Man: How the Soludo-engineered Consolidation Transformed Nigerian Banks to Global Players.”

Obasanjo said that all players and stakeholders in the economy as well as government at all levels need to work hand in hand to improve the current situation of the country.

“Like the title of the book says, without the team, we cannot win the match; the captain is Soludo, with his team, and I take pride in all the team.

“Yes, the CBN Governor made a policy, but the weight of the government is also important.

“When Soludo took over, I could tell the difference between a banker and an economist, and we need someone who sees the country holistically.

“We appreciate the author of this book, and we look forward to volume two of the book,” he said.

Also, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said that there was a need for the current leadership of CBN to use the gathering to “test the blood pressure and temperature” of the system.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu said that hopefully, in the next 20 years from now, they would also gather to do another review on the consolidation of the banking sector.

“You are on the right track of doing it right; we hope you will complete it and stand tall without minding any stumbling block.

“It is tough for us in the public sector at this time; we do not know how we will survive the pressure on us.

“This book is coming at this time when there is the need for all economic experts, bankers, businessmen, politicians and leaders to reflect on the required solutions we need to make better decisions,” he said.

Also, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State called for the right choices to be allowed to handle public offices in all the sectors.

Abiodun said that the impact of appointing the right choice to service public sectors was very important for the growth of the economy.

“Currently, the country’s economy is going through turbulence; we need the stakeholders in CBN to do something, so that in the next 20 years, we can gather like this.

“Soludo was not an accidental CBN Governor because he was so cerebral that he won several prizes all through his academics,” he said.

This book is coming at this time when there is the need for all economic experts, bankers, businessmen, politicians and leaders to reflect on the required solutions we need to make better decisions.

In his remarks, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Governor of Anambra, said that his family had gone on exile because of banking consolidation due to the several threats and attacks from different people.

Soludo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said that it was a dangerous “gambling and war” but, “today we could write about it”.

“Let me start by a disclaimer, I have not read the book. My gratitude goes to the author of this book, and I appreciate my major incredible team.

“I also thank the Nigerian stakeholders for the massive support because it was like a revolution time; today, we are celebrating the possibility of Nigeria.

“The revolution changed the Nigerian banking system forever.

“As a leader, you must be self-sacrificing and ready to pay the price to avoid personal interest,” he said.

“The major message of today is the revolution for the banks themselves, who are now giants, such as Access and Standard Trust Bank.

“I want everyone to know that what is stopping and limiting us from developing is our mind. If we can dream it, we will achieve it,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, said the event was crucial because consolidation in the banking sector was numbing.

Mr. Ekpo said that the banking sector was very important in the economy and needed quality people to drive the system.

According to him, Mr. Soludo is part of the “change and power of one man”.

“During the consolidation exercise, there were a lot of challenges, but he took the courage which made our banking system to become a major player,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Dr Kayode Fayemi, a former Governor of Ekiti State; Ahmad Mu’azu, former Governor of Bauchi state, and representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria were all present.

NAN reports that the book has 263 pages and was reviewed by Azu Ishiekwene, Senior Vice-Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers. (NAN)

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