GSM Telephony: It was the PDP Federal government that introduced GSM telephone into the country and through this improved a lot of things in the economy.Before that time the nation could boost of only 400,000 phone lines. And only the rich and powerful had access to mobile phones which could only be acquired for well over 100,000 naira. People queued up to make phone calls at public phone booths.
PDP led Federal government mainstreamed democracy as under them the country was able to break the jinx of the hand over from one civilian government to another. Since independence no civilian administration has been able to handover to another civilian democratic government. But this was achieved when Chief OlusegunObasanjo handed over to Malam Umar Yar’ Adua in 2007 and again when the death of Yar’ Adua led to Goodluck Jonathan, his vice, taking over from him. This was possible because the Federal government of Obasanjo and others that followed were able to democratize our system and discourage the military from returning to politics or government.
The PDP were able especially during the Goodluck Jonathan, Yar’ Adua administration to improve on our elections. Jonathan organized many elections that were mostly bloodless unlike the usual situation in the past. And he was a president who ensured that the opposition was congratulated when they win elections even against his own party or when they got good judgment from the courts. This cannot be said to be obtainable in most of the states controlled by the opposition or even in some cases the PDP. Council elections in the states are outrageously rigged. That is when the state governments bothers to hold elections. Most of them prefer to appoint illegal care- taker chairmen instead of holding elections as prescribed by the constitution.
Rule of Law:
The PDP Federal Government in the last 16 years tried to ensure the rule of law. That was why despite the fact that they controlled the two chambers of the National Assembly, they still refused to approve the alleged bid by Obasanjo to do a third term. Even though he was from their party. This tendency by PDP at the federal level is not what the opposition leaders are wont to do.Their authorities are almost unquestionable in their areas of jurisdiction.
It was the PDP government at the centre that saw to the implementation of banking consolidation which helped to strengthen our financial system. Before the consolidation you could not be too sure that your bank will not disappoint you. It was the consolidation of our banks from 89 to about 25 that empowered our banks today to have shops across the African continent and elsewhere. This has also boosted their capacity and ensured that customers can do all kind of things – secure bigger loans, overdraft, etc.
Project Eagle/ Cashless Policy etc.
The Central Bank of Nigeria project Eagle which helped the Central Bank of Nigeria to have better handle on transactions in the banking sector was one that led to more openness and accountability in the sector. As well the cashless policy of the various PDP government has improved the use of ATM’s, POS, Internet, commerce and mobile banking etc. this has opened doors for internet retailers like konga.com jumia.com, Iroko TV etc. This has created employment and opportunities in various aspects of the economy. This was thanks to PDP administrations.
EFCC, ICPC and the Due Process
The corruption watch dogs that Nigerians can boost about today are all creations of the PDP led federal government. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC), ICPC and the Due Process which acts as the gate man in the area of procurement has helped to scale down corruption in Nigeria. The sad thing however is that despite the noise by the opposition parties none of their states can boost of these types of establishments. That is why the state governments on the whole are said to be ‘kings of corruption or corruption citadels’ by some experts. Some of who feel that it would have been worse if not that the corruption watch dogs named above atimes extended their dragnets to the states and councils.Before PDP there was nothing like EFCC,ICPC,NOR DUE PROCESS OFFICE.
The New Pension Act
The new pension act introduced by President Obasanjo was one that helped to improve pension administration in Nigeria. The lapses still found led to the enhancements introduced by Goodluck Jonathan regime. Since then some states has kow-towed by introducing similar pension acts in their states to the joy of pensioners. But there is no doubts that some people are still complaining about the pension administration but it used to be worse. It’s so good today that the total contribution is now 5trillion. The logic is that the new federal government will not mis-manage the fund given the funny stories one is hearing about their plans for the fund. But Nigerians are more vigilant today and will not allow any one to ‘eat’ their future.
TSA/ The Custom Single Window etc.
The single account, the customs single window and what have you all came during Jonathan administration. Their operation today leaves much to be desired. No wonder the TSA is being operated in a way which weakens our banks and the custom single window is apparently not being managed like Dikko did hence his revenue records are currently not being met. The current government forgot that much of the $65billion (N2trillion) debt of the federal government are mostly owed to local contractors who borrowed money from banks to execute the jobs. And they have not been paid by the federal government. So why are they saying that all agencies should remove all their funds from the banks- whom the federal government is indirectly indebted to. And its not as if it is the PDP administrations that manufactured these debts. The debt has been there before Obasanjo came.Recall that Gen. M. Buhari served in Abacha and Abdusalami regimes that passed the debt burden to PDP people in 1999.
$36billion Foreign Debt Payment
It was the PDP government of Obasanjo with NgoziOkonjo-Iwuala as Finance Minister that cleared the $36billion foreign debts owed to the paris club. Nigeria paid $18billion and the rest was forgiven. This debts payment was for debt that were accumulated by the various military governments and its clearance gave the nation some relief. One would have thought that they should be clearing our domestic debts in the overall interest of the nation- instead of hijacking all the monies from its agencies from the banks were it could be employed to create wealth, rather than CBN where it would be docile. The power that be should not glory that the banks are sacking workers. Are those sacked not really problems to our situation.
Through the agricultural transformation agenda the PDP federal government empowered Nigerians. That our food imports became highly reduced from earlier levels is credence to this. Besides, as a result of that policy on agriculture states like Ebony and Anambra States and others are exporting farm produce to Europe and America. And Yobe State government despite the evils by Boko Haram has maintained that it has enough rice to sell. That was why their senators came hard on plans to open Nigerian land border to foreign rice. We rapidly recall that Nigeria years ago tried” Operation Feed The Nation” which failed to produce food for us and we initiated “Green Revolution” which also crash landed. With recent sentiments raise by Audu Ogbe hope is high that he will ensure that mechanized farming takes root. African Development Bank’s Akinwunmi Adesina apparently is happy that the job will continue.
Railway and Car Assembly Plants
It was a PDP President of Nigeria that brought car assembly plants back to Nigeria after about 30years absence.Same goes for Railway. Today Thousands of Nigerians are employed in the two sectors both directly and indirectly. Was PDP in power when the railway disappeared or when the assembly plants went carnatose.We hear the House of Reps.want to buy Nigerian Assembled cars from Peugeot in Kaduna.This is a well come development.
The local content policy of the PDP regimes of the last 16years helped to empower Nigerians especially in the oil and gas sectors of the economy. Obviously many Nigerians among the masses who may not have benefitted may not be aware of the gargantuan transfer of power in the oil sector over the last 16years as a result of this single policy. In fact all the regimes have ensured that local content was factored into a lot of contracts signed with foreign investors so as to strengthen the position of Nigeria in various critical areas of the industry.
Equipment of Military
Despite the controversy over the Boko Haram and the arms purchase for our soldiers. The truth is that the PDP administration of the last 16 years, especially the Jonathan presidency did a lot to equip the Nigerian Armed Forces. The APC government is yet to purchase arms as the budget was just passed but they have been battling the terrorists as should. Apparently, they are still depending on the arms purchased by Jonathan. Its such a sad thing that for all these years Nigeria had only one frigate war ship. But thanks to Jonathan, we now have eight. It should be recalled that when Obasanjo came back in 1999 he was a very sad man because it was alleged that as Head of State he left about 20 ships for the National Shipping Line and under 25planes for Nigerian Airways. But when he came back the ships had all gone while only one plane was left for the Airways- even though it was impounded in a far away country for inability to pay duties .
The government of Yar’ Adua and Jonathan did quite a bit to upgrade the education standards Jonathan especially built 350 laboratories across the polytechnics and Universities in the country as a way of improving science education in the country. And because these efforts as well as the education trust fund, computerization of universities etc made NANS to make him a Patron the association …… while in office as president.This was a record in the annals of the country.
Vision 20, 2020
It was the PDP leaders that packaged vision 20,2020. Obasanjo set the vision and during Goodluck’s era Nigeria rebased its economy and became the top economy in Africa, with a GDP of around $500billion. And much of Jonathan’s presidency saw Nigeria became the top destination for foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Hence Nigeria has already become the 25 top economy in the world as a result of its GDP. But since APC came, Nigeria has gone down in FDI. Hence Nigeria had already become the 25 top economy in the world as a result of its GDP. Since APC came Nigeria has gone down in oil production. Its no longer number one in Africa- it has lost that position to Angola. And its economy has generally trended down because of crisis in the ruling party, DE marketing by President Buhari, who has either been saying that he met empty treasury, or that Nigeria cannot pay salaries or that the economy is in terrible state. All these discourage local and foreign investors who are confused as to the direction of government etc.
It is true that Nigeria has for several years been a mono-economy. But PDP over the last 16years been transforming our economy to become export oriented. Today as a result of development of test laboratories by standard organization of Nigeria (SON) under Jonathan. Exporters do not need to carry their goods and services to Ghana to test it before exporting. They can now do the test in Nigeria and would be recognized globally. Hence removing a heavy hindrance in the back of exporters. No wonder that this has enhanced our export drive which kicked off under Obasanjo but received more pep under Goodluck. No wonder Nigeria is now a net exporter of cement, electric cables, locally produced rice (Abakaliki rice) , maze, cassava etc. On the other hand we now manufacture and export cars, produce tin tomato, armoured vehicles, flat sheets etc.
The Goodluck administration did a lot in the area of road network as it constructed 25,000km roads as against 5,000km it met on ground . for this reason some APC leaders have commended him. The PDP government also made Nigeria a sea power with the number of Ocean going vessels owned by Nigerian climbing to almost 400.
Urban Renewal and BRT
It should be recalled that the Urban Renewal Strategies and festivals being organized by the various state governments in Nigeria were actually borrowed from the PDP Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke. He was the first to introduce BRT at the time run by ABC Transport and introduced urban renewal strategies and went green with the planting of flowers and trees- with mobile courts and the rest. This has been widely “Mimicked” by governors across Nigeria. Since then, infact Donald Duke has since been acting as consultant to some of the festivals organized by some governors to shore up the tourism potentials of their States. However we should add that there is nothing wrong in borrowing a good thing from the successful. But then, one is saying that that development strategy is a legacy of a PDP political party member and shows that PDP had some good legacies and has not all bad.
Finally one can go on and on. But its clear that PDP’S 16 years in power is not a failure even though we can say that they could have done more to better Nigeria. But the question that is begging for answer is whether or not APC can match these above listed achievements. Only time will tell