Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Soludo replies to Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Finance Minister, accusing her of forging national economics statistics

Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Credit:

Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Charles Soludo, has reacted to the criticism of his earlier article by Nigeria‘s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In a lengthy, over 6,000-word article, Charles Soludo on Sunday rejected claims by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that he performed poorly as governor of the Central Bank. Soludo said his performance as CBN governor was unprecedented locally as well as globally-acknowledged.

“In Nigeria’s history, no governor of the Central Bank has delivered 24 consecutive months of single digit inflation as I did until the advent of the unprecedented global crisis in 2008,” he said.

Soludo then challenged claims by Okonjo-Iweala, who is also Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister of the Economy, that the Nigerian economy is doing well.

He accused Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala of running the country’s economy aground.

“You are brilliant Madam, but you need serious help,” he said while reeling our data to show the porous state of the Nigerian economy. “Having spent all your life in the World Bank bureaucracy, largely in administration/operations, no one will blame you if your economics has become a bit rusty. There are firebrand Nigerians all over the world to draft to service. It is certainly embarrassing to Nigeria for you to be bothering World Bank economists to help you with most basic economic analysis.”

He also accused her of forging Nigeria’s national economics statistics.

“What worries me is that this government is the first in our history to attempt to manipulate our national statistics under Okonjo-Iweala. When NBS published the poverty figures in 2011, she felt indicted and incensed. She called upon the World Bank to come and examine the ‘methodology’ and get NBS to ‘review’ its numbers. Oby Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s then VP of Africa, rejected the call to try to tamper with the country’s statistics. Once Oby left, the ‘World Bank’ started talking about ‘new figures’, without conducting any new surveys,” said Soludo.

Soludo added, “I was told about it by a World Bank economist, and I cautioned that it was a dangerous gamble that would damage the credibility of the NBS. If you want to ‘review methodology’, you conduct another survey but you can’t change ‘methodology’ because you don’t like the published figures. No government in our history has tried it: even Sani Abacha allowed a poverty survey that put poverty at 67% under his regime. At this rate, who will believe statistics coming from the Nigerian government again? Is it now the World Bank that sits in Washington and allocates poverty numbers to Nigeria? Something smells here!”

Read full article: Soludo replies Okonjo-Iweala, accuses her of forging national economics statistics – Premium Times Nigeria