Since its assumption in office almost two years ago, the Buhari-APC led federal government has not ceased to demonize the Peoples Democratic Party for the woes that have befallen the country. But the problems confronting the country didn’t start 18 years ago, a time the PDP assumed office in 1999. The PDP government actually made some appreciable successes when it led the country as evident in the establishment of numerous industries by both local and foreign investors, leading to massive employment opportunities across the country.
The defunct PDP government supported the Movie Industry with N3 billion causing an avalanche in film productions which cumulated in generating about $590 million annually after that intervention. Job opportunities in Nollywood also increased from about one million to about two million. The Nigerian Stock Exchange also witnessed growth as it attracted about $10 billion Foreign Investment in 2013 alone.
The introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the PDP, has led to the warehousing of all monies accruable to the federal government in a single account. The TSA and the Bank Verification Number have helped to block all loopholes hitherto used to defraud the government over the years. The removal of middlemen from the distribution of fertilizers led to the saving of about N1.1 trillion annually! The introduction of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the PDP government helped to discover and weed out about 50,000 ghost workers from the Federal Civil Service leading to the saving of about N160 billion annually.
However, these prodigious achievements of the PDP have been destroyed by the Buhari-APC led government just under two years of assuming office owing largely to his incompetence, cluelessness, naivety and unpreparedness. Buhari’s search for his saintly ministers lingered for almost six months but why the angelic search was on, a country with a population of about 170 million were in gluttonous revelries without production. The mandate given to the banks not to allow account holders to deposit or withdraw foreign currencies from their domiciliary accounts precipitated huge capital outflow in foreign currencies by both local and foreign investors. Buhari’s globetrotting with his message of “Nigerians are corrupt” discouraged foreign investors from investing in the country. The ban on the importation of 41 items when there are no foreign currencies to purchase raw materials to produce these items locally caused many industries to closedown leading to mass retrenchment. This was the main cause of the recession currently confronting the country. At the time the PDP handed over power to the APC in 2015, N190 was exchanged for $1 but today a whopping N400 is being exchanged for $1!
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the inflationary trend was 9.6 percent in 2015 but it has risen to 18.72 percent in the first quarter of 2017. The unemployment rate which stood at 9.9 percent in 2015 has galloped to 12.1 percent also in the first quarter of 2017. The population of the unemployed which was a mere 1.7 million in 2015 has risen to 11.19 million in 2017.
According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), 272 companies have been forced out of business since 2015 owing to high interest rate, poor power supply, inconsistent policies, poor patronage of locally manufactured products by Nigerian leaders, poor supporting infrastructures etc. The collapse of the 272 companies also caused the retrenchment of millions of Nigerians. The richest man on the African Continent, Mr. Aliko Dangote has also lost about $25 billion of his investments within two years of the APC government. With many Nigerians losing their jobs, prices of goods and services skyrocketing, many Nigerians have become despondent, leading to suicides. But instead of the Buhari led government to accept its failure, he keeps blaming the PDP for the hardships confronting the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party that led the country from 1999 to 2015 was not a total failure as being portrayed by the Buhari-APC led federal government. The PDP introduced some pragmatic policies that revamped the ailing economy when it took over power from the military in 1999. The recession the country is witnessing at the moment was caused by the inconsistent policies of Buhari, therefore he should stop blaming the PDP for the woes plaguing the country and rejigger his policies in order to position the country in the right direction.