Soludo: My family and I went into hiding over banking sector consolidation 

Governor of Anambra State and former boss of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, has revealed that his family went into exile following his banking sector reform while in charge of the apex bank.

Soludo said this on Saturday, at the launch of a book, titled: Power of One Man: How the Soludo-Engineered Consolidation Transformed Nigerian Banks to Global Players’.

Soludo said despite the benefit of the reform to the economic transformation of the country, some Nigerians saw it as “dangerous war” and were after his family.

The book, which was launched last weekend in Lagos, was authored by Ray Echebiri, Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Financial Journalism, according to NAN.

Soludo, who served from 2004 to 2009 as the-then CBN governor, spearheaded the consolidation policy of the Nigerian banking system.

According to the CBN, consolidation is the reduction in the number of banks and other deposit-taking institutions with a simultaneous increase in the size and concentration of the consolidated entities in the sector.

It often involves a process where banks merge with or acquire other banks, resulting in fewer but larger institutions.

Reflecting on the banking sector’s transformation, the Anambra governor said it was a dangerous “gambling and war”.

Soludo, however, said the consolidation exercise was a major revolution that transformed the industry forever.

“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,” the governor said.

“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 prize to avoid personal interest.

“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.”

Also speaking at the event, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, urged all economic players and government at all levels to collaborate in order to improve the country’s current situation.

Obasanjo, who was represented by Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River, said the weight of the government is important in improving the economy.

“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,” the ex-president said.

“Yes, 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 the volume two of the book.”

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