PDP Handed Nigeria Over In A Better State Than It Met Nigeria – Soludo

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According to ex CBN governor Charles Soludo, the PDP government handed the affairs of the country in a better state to the new government than in the manner which it met it.

Below are quotes from him as obtained from The Whistler:

Nigeria has had 16 uninterrupted years of democracy with the PDP controlling the federal government as well as majority of the states. APC is now in charge at both the centre and majority of the states. A minimum standard for measuring ‘change’ is the extent to which APC government beats the record of the PDP in measurable terms. As the saying goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve/change it!

Since it is the practice to blame the PDP for every ill that befell our country in the last 16 years (and there are many of them) it is also fair to credit them with the positive ones. According to data from NBS, one outstanding legacy of the PDP is that in 16 years it held sway, it more than doubled the GDP of Nigeria (indeed with average year-on-year GDP growth rate in excess of 6% over the past 12 years, the GDP actually doubled within the last 12 years. It met average annual growth rate of about 2% and raised it to 6-7%, led by the non-oil sector.

As at 1999 when PDP came to power, Nigeria was largely a pariah state still lucky to have survived as one indivisible sovereign, especially in the context of the struggle by NADECO and restiveness in many parts of the country. On corruption, Transparency International scored it 1.6 out of 10 and ranked 98 out of 99 countries in 1999. Nigeria was listed among four countries that were non-compliant on the anti-money laundering rules by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). We could not service our external debt and relied on stressful rescheduling, with all the intrusive donor conditionalities. Poverty was estimated at 70%, and unemployment at nearly 20%. The 1990s will go down in our economic history as the decade of stagnation: when per capita income growth was zero. Average oil price in May 1999 when President Obasanjo took over was $15.24 while stock of reserves was about $5 billion.

After 16 years, several challenges remain and some have even worsened (especially insecurity). Although President Jonathan’s regime had the worst economic management relative to the resources at its disposal, it must be stressed that tremendous progress was made in the aggregate 16 years of PDP government. Yes, it should have left more than $100 billion in reserves but left only $30 billion (still about six times of what it met). We also wish that Jonathan’s team did not leave Nigeria with unprecedented rate of debt accumulation.

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