Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo
Principled. Visionary. Progressive.
PROF. CHARLES CHUKWUMA SOLUDO was born on July 28, 1960 to late Mrs Mgbafor Soludo and Nze Nwankwo Simeon Soludo of Umueze village, lsuofia, Aguata LGA. He is happily married to Nonye Queen Frances Soludo, and they are blessed with children. He holds the traditional title of “ODENIGBO Aguata na Orumba”-conferred upon him by the 45 communities in Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South Local governments in 2004, ODENJINJI Aguleri, and DIKEUDO lsuofia. Chukwuma has had an exemplary career as an international scholar and consultant/adviser to 20 international financial/development organizations and governments; distinguished public servant; philanthropist and a devotee to Christian life/duties. In government, the Soludo brand became synonymous with excellence in grand visioning with precision in execution.
WASC 1980 (Distinction Grade): Uga Boys’ Secondary School, Aguata; B.Sc (1984) Economics (First Class Hons): University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Winning Departmental and Faculty prizes as best graduating student); NYSC (1984/85): Department of Economics, University of lfe, lle-lfe (Now Obafemi Awolowo University, lfe); M.Sc (1987) Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Ph.D (1989) Econometrics/Monetary Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Winning ViceChancellor’s prize).
POST-DOCTORAL TRAINING AND RESEARCH
Visiting Fellow: The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC (January 1991- July 1992); Research Fellow: UNEconomic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa (September 1992- October 1993); Visiting Scholar: IMF Research Department, Washington, DC (January – April 1994); Visiting Scholar: Institute of Statistics and Economics and Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford (April – July 1994); and August 1997; Smuts Research Scholar: University of Cambridge, U.K (September 1996- June 1997); Visiting Fellow: University of Warwick, U.K (Julyl997)
Attended several short-term courses to sharpen technical/analytical skills including courses on: Understanding the Operations of the u.s Federal Government; Open Economy macroeconomics and multicountry macroeconometric modeling; Time-Series Econometrics; trade policy; public and corporate finance; monetary policy; etc at the Universities of Oxford; Cambridge; Warwick; The Brookings Institution; AERC Nairobi; etc.
D.Sc (Honoris Causa), University of Agriculture, Markurdi; D.Sc (Honoris Causa) University of Calabar; and D.Sc (Honoris Causa) University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB); Fellow, and life member, Nigerian Economic Society (FNES); Fellow of the Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK; and Member, Institute of Directors.
SPECIALIZATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
Research and consultancy career covered several areas of applied economics, including: open economy macroeconomics; econometrics and multi-country macroeconometric modelling; monetary and fiscal policy; international trade and finance; development economics; and corporate finance. With over 300 including scholarly publications, conference papers, technical reports and monographs, and authored, co-authored or edited many books some of which include:
Economic Policy Options for a Prosperous Nigeria (2008); New York, Palgrave Macmillan; The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000 Volumes l &. 2 (2008); Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; The Politics of Trade and Industrial Policy in Africa: Forced Consensus? (2004); New Jersey, USA; Africa World Press; African Voices on Structural Adjustment (2003); Canada: IDRC; Can Africa Claim the 2r1 Century? (2000); Washington, DC: World Bank; Our Continent, Our Future: African Perspectives on Structural Adjustment (1999); New Jersey, USA: Africa World Press; Macroeconomic Policy Modelling of African Economies (1998); Los Angeles, USA: Acena Publishers; Macroeconomic Adjustment, Trade and Growth: Policy Analysis Using a Macroeconomic Model of Nigeria (1995); Nairobi:AERC;The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy (2003); New Jersey: Africa World Press; Nigeria: National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), 2004: Abuja: FGN; Nigeria: Financial System Strategy 2020; etc
PROFESSIONAL CAREER WORK EXPERIENCE
Audit Trainee (August- December, 1985), Coopers and Lybrand (International firm of Auditors/chartered accountants), Lagos; Lecturer, Anambra State College of Education, Nsugbe (November 1986- Dec 1987); Lecturer (February 1988- September 2009), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Promoted Professor of Economics 1998 but met requirements at age 34); Visiting Fellow: The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC: January 1991- July 1992; Research Fellow: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia; September 1992- October 1993; Visiting Scholar, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC: January- April 1994; Smuts Research Scholar, University of Cambridge, UK: September 1996- June 1997; Visiting Scholar, IMF Research Department, JulySeptember 1998; Visiting Professor, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA, JanuaryJuly 1999; Long Term Consultant, Africa Division, The World Bank, Washington DC: July 1999 – December 2000 ( Among other deliverables was a seminal book: “Can Africa Claim the 2r1 Century?” published by The World Bank, 2000); Founder/Founding Executive Director: African Institute for Applied Economics, Enugu: 2001- 2003; As consultant to IMF, taught course on “Financial Programming and Policy” to senior staff of central banks and ministries of finance in Washington, DC and Anglophone West Africa for several years- 1998 -2003; Member, UK-DFID International Advisory Group, 2005- 07; Member, Chief Economist Advisory Council, The World Bank, 2005- 2012; African Member on 10 -Member United Nations Commission of Experts for Reforming the Global Monetary and Financial System (the Stiglitz Commission) 2008- 2009; Member (and chairman of Finance committee), The South Centre, Geneva, Switzerland-(lnternational inter-governmental organization of 54 developing countries including Nigeria, China, India, Brazil, etc and currently chaired by President Thabo Mbeki) 2011 – 2020; Member, IMF External Advisory Group for the Triennial Surveillance Review in 2011; Member, Technical Advisory Group, Natural Resource Charter, Oxford University; 2009-2012; Chairman, African Heritage Institution, since 2009; Member, Finance Council, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, 2011- 2018; Director on the Board of the Peter University, Catholic Diocese of Awka and Ekwulobia 2014-date; Member of Advisory Board, Natural Resource Charter, University of Oxford, 2009- 2012; Currently, member of board of 8 corporations, including Chairman, Paragon Mining Group.
INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANCIES AND FELLOWSHIPS
Lived in the U.S; Ethiopia; UK; and travelled to 45 other countries as itinerant scholar and consultant to over 20 international development and financial institutions including: African Development Bank (AfDB), Abidjan; UN-Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; The World Bank, Washington DC; International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris; The European Union, Brussels; Organization of African Unity (OAU), and later African Union (AU); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); UK- Department for International Development (DFID); IBM Consulting, Washington, DC; International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada; Chemonics International, Washington, DC; United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Austria; United Nations, New York; Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal; African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya; Common Market for East and Southern Africa, COMESA; United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD; United Nations Development Programme, UNDP; etc.
WORK EXPERIENCE IN GOVERNMENT
Chief Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo, July 2003- May 2004; Deputy Chairman/Chief Executive, National Planning Commission, August 2003- May 2004 (restructured the old Federal Office of Statistics into modern National Bureau of Statistics; blueprint for professionalizing the National Planning Commission and its six parastatals, Chairman/Coordinator of Drafting Committee for the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) whose implementation led to unprecedented economic prosperity, created estimated 12.8 million jobs and was basis for securing $18 billion debt relief from the Paris Club, and Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) which had the vision to establish an International Financial Centre and turn Nigeria as Africa’s financial hub; Governor/Chairman of Board, Central Bank of Nigeria, May 31, 2004- June 1, 2009 (In addition to consolidation of Nigerian banks such that the history of Nigeria’s banking system is now divided into “before” and “after” Soludo, grew external reserves from $10billion to all time high US$62 billion; inflation down from 23% to single digit for 24 consecutive months; stable and converged exchange rate regime that appreciated steadily to Nll2 to $1 before unprecedented global crisis; special funding for commercial agriculture; implemented a transformational programme named “Project EAGLES” which repositioned CBN as an efficient and effective institution, etc); Chairman, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Pie: 2005- 2009 (transformed a bankrupt company to world class status that for the first time met 100% of Nigeria’s currency printing needs, etc), introduced the polymer notes for lower denominations as well as the NlO00 note; Founder/Founding Chairman, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC} 2006- 2009; Served in over 25 technical committees of the Federal Government, covering reforms in various sectors/ministries; Alternate Governor at IMF/World Bank’s Board of Governors-2004- 2009. Currently, serves as Member of President Buhari’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council; and Chairman of Anambra Vision 2070-A 50 Year Development Plan.
Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, grew external reserves from $10billion to all time high US$62 billion; inflation down from 23% to single digit for 24 consecutive months; stable and converged exchange rate regime that appreciated steadily to N112 to $1
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Received over 200 distinguished merit/service Awards and Honours around the world, including: Global and African Central Bank Governor of the Year, 2005, 2006, and 2007 (by Financial Times-Banker; Euromoney; and Annual Meetings Daily): The Financial Times of London has described him as “a great reformer”!; African Bank Regulator of the Year, 2007 by African Investor; Nigeria’s third highest National Honour, Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) conferred in 2006; Alma Mata, University of Nigeria, Nsukka award as “Most Distinguished Alumnus” of the University, in 2005; Kwame Nkrumah African Leadership Award, 2004; Three Universities have conferred Honorary Doctorate degrees-Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa); Distinguished service award by Red Cross International; Service Award by Rotary International; Six Nigerian newspapers and magazines have variously conferred award on him as “Nigeria’s Man of the Year” on account of the transformation of the financial system as well as sound regulatory/ monetary/exchange rate policies; New African Magazine, London, in 2012 featured him as one of the 100 most influential Africans; After years of meritorious service as a member of its Finance Council, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria honoured him with Excellent Service Award; etc, etc. Anambra State Government has, in the last ten years, honoured him with two awards: 2011 with Distinguished Service Award, and in 2021 with Pillar of Education award as one of the few private persons supporting government by providing quality education to Ndi Anambra. Professor Soludo served the Government of Nigeria under two Presidents (2003 – 2009) and both of them, in writing, gave him uncommon excellent testimonials: According to President Obasanjo; “Charles Soludo is a true Nigerian. He is the sort of Nigerian that we all know we can rely on. Among his numerous virtues is COURAGE. I have found in him a man who can take tough and realistic decisions, stand his ground, educate others on the salience of his decision, and work very hard to ensure that the decision is efficiently and effectively implemented. His dedication to duty is first rate. His leadership qualities are admirable and his willingness to listen and learn is simply infectious.
Professor Soludo has within a short time emerged as one of the leading lights of our nation. Not because he has a godfather but by sheer hard work, loyalty, dedication to duty, commitment to the nation, creativity, and undiluted association with the reform agenda … ” President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR (December, 2004)
AWARDS AND HONOURS
President Var’Adua had the following to say about the Central Bank of Nigeria under Soludo’s leadership:” … the CBN has performed creditably well in delivering on its core mandates. This is especially even more so in the last five years. Most people would agree that without the successful banking consolidation and effective management of our foreign reserves, the current global crisis would have shaken the financial system and our national economy to their foundations with calamitous consequences”; PresidentYar’Adua (May2009). In the President’s special letter of commendation after completion of his tenure of office, President Yar’Adua had the following to say to So ludo: “As your tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria comes to a glorious end, I write on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria to place on record our debt of gratitude to you for your dedicated service and uncommon sense of duty over the past five years. I am confident that your worthy antecedents in the CBN and in prior appointments in the service of our nation remain sources of inspiration to an entire generation. As I wish you even more astounding successes in the years ahead, it is my fervent hope that you will readily avail us of your distinguished service when the need arises in the future” ( June 01, 2009 ).
LEADERSHIP AND PHILANTHROPIC SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:
Chukwuma Soludo has played leadership roles from childhood, and been active player in society and organizations. He was an Alter boy. In his primary school, Azuzuru State School, Nigercem Nkalagu, he was a Head boy, and played football for his school. In secondary school (UBSS), he was the Pioneer Senior Prefect for two consecutive academic sessions and Editor of the School Magazine; footballer, a hockey and volley ball player; and table tennis champion in Old Aguata Division and Awka senatorial zone.
As an undergraduate, Chukwuma Soludo was member of the Students’ Union Parliament representing Alvan lkoku Hall and received award as Distinguished Elderstatesman of UNN Students’ union; Editor of Economics Departmental magazine; Co-founder, Ekwueme Movement; Secretary and later Chairman, UNN Students’ wing of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN); Chairman, Students’ Wing of NPN (Old Aguata Division); Member, Shagari Presidential Campaign Committee and Coordinator, Students (old Anambra and Imo States—current 5 South East States).
At various times, he served as Chairman of Bazaar at his various parishes at Nsukka, Enugu, and lsuofia.
The foregoing summary profile is self-evident about the global, national and local impacts of his professional services and public service. However, in the season of partisan politics, there is pressure to explicitly mention one’s philanthropic activities/impacts. Chukwuma Soludo does not like talking about his charitable acts.
He insists that they are his own way of thanking God for His blessings and therefore does not want anyone to thank or praise him. But under pressure.just a few are mentioned here to check the box.
At the global level, how does one measure the impacts of a teacher with thousands of former students all over the world as professionals, businessmen and women, and some even professors? Or the impacts of his advice on millions of lives all over the world? Or the over 12.8 million jobs created during his tenure in government or the impact of the fact that since his revolution, no one has lost his/her deposits in the banks and thousands of investors borrowing billions of Naira to fund their businesses or the impacts of the over 1000 Bureau de Change and overlO00 Microfinance Banks he licensed, etc.
In his community, Chukwuma Soludo is a true home boy, deeply rooted among his age grade, village and town. He served as Secretary of the lsuofia Students Union and as an undergraduate at 20, helped to organize free Extramural studies for secondary school students in lsuofia during long vacations. From age 26 (even as a student himself), he started training not only his siblings but also others in secondary schools and university. In 2000, he instituted a scholarship scheme for his Umunna (kindred) 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-to which he was the highest donor, and which granted scholarships and bursaries to indigent students from the village. For about 12 years, Chukwuma Soludo “adopted” the government primary school in his village (Amoji Primary School) where he provides about 900 pupils every year with free and qualitative education by providing everything they need including uniforms, 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 public schools in lsuofia and currently pays the salaries of about 25 PTA teachers in those other schools. Or do we need to mention that he sponsors annual football competition among primary schools in lsuofia? Every year, Chukwuma Soludo pays the fees for JAMB and SSCE for hundreds of secondary school students and certainly for all students at the Holy Child Secondary School, lsuofia. Also hundreds of graduates have benefitted from his scholarships and bursaries. For over 14 years, he instituted revolving interest-free micro credit fund with women organizations in the church parishes in lsuofia as well as others such as Umuada, etc amounting to tens of millions of Naira. We do not mention his various short-term palliatives to indigent people. Aside from facilitating the Federal Government reconstruction of the Ekwulobialsuofia- Nnobi road in 2007 /08 with two spurs planned for lsuofia, Chukwuma So ludo has personally tarred or facilitated government road project of over 6 kilometres in lsuofia. We need not mention his contribution in attracting street lights from His Excellency, Gov Willie Obiano as well as the lsuofia-Ekwulobia Hospital Road.
The ongoing construction of gigantic multi-billion Naira Diagnostic Hospital in lsuofia by him is well known. We do not also mention his contributions to church projects and other community development initiatives, etc. Chukwuma Soludo provided the decisive leadership that mobilized the critical stakeholders and the entire community to resolve a 20 year old crisis and re-united lsuofia into one peaceful and united town. In appreciation, his community has bestowed him with the unique title of “Dike Udo lsuofia” (Hero of Peace of lsuofia).