How APC destroyed PDP’s Laudable Achievements in 2 years- by Victor Anya

-by VICTOR ANYA

It is evident that the All Progres­sive Congress (APC) led feder­al government has destroyed all the wonderful achievements the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made in 16 years just under two years in office. Because of time and space constraints, this discourse shall be limited to the policies of the PDP that revamped the ailing economy it inherited from the mil­itary and not about the provision of infrastructures. Recall that the PDP came into power after almost 35 years of military misadventure and bad governance. Then, the country was reduced to nothing but a pari­ah as no country wanted to associ­ate with the country. However, on assumption of office, the PDP didn’t bemoan the maladministration of the military as the APC led govern­ment is wont to blaming the PDP after almost two years in office! But the PDP hit the ground running by deregulating the telecommunica­tion sector. This witnessed massive inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as MTN Communication Ltd, Airtel, Globalcom and Etis­alat invested heavily in the sector. Thus, for the first time in the histo­ry of this country, Nigerians have access to Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM). With this development, Nigerians are freed forever, from the shabby and horrendous treatment they were once subjected to, by the govern­ment monopolistic Nigerian Tele­communication Limited (NITEL). The harrowing days of queuing up for hours or sometimes even days with attendant overbearing charges just to make phone calls were dead and buried forever! Now, Nigeri­ans can make phone calls from the comfort of their bedrooms or kitch­ens with ease!

Likewise, these telecommuni­cation companies offered employ­ments to millions of Nigerians. Many Nigerian musicians, ac­tors and actresses were endorsed some musicians as brand ambas­sadors, receiving huge endorse­ment fees. The advent of the tele­communication companies also brought in massive investments in mobile phones. The Computer Village located in Lagos State and mobile phones trading centres in other major cities across the coun­try are testimonials to this fact. Re­charge card distributors and retail­ers are also prominent across the country; providing informal em­ployment opportunities to Nige­rians. The advent of the telecom­munication companies has in no small measure boosted the Nige­rian economy. The availability of smart phones has also led to high internet penetration and usage. High internet penetration has pro­moted the massive use of social me­dia, social engagements and online business transactions. Many Nige­rians now live on revenues gener­ated from their online businesses. Today, many bloggers are smiling to the banks courtesy of immense internet penetration occasioned by the deregulation of the telecommu­nication sector of the economy.

The PDP government also re­formed the banking sector of the economy. Before the emergence of the PDP in the political scene, the banking sector was archaic and dreary. Those were days when workers were offered public holi­days just to go to the banks to re­ceive their salaries and wages. It was the days when banks issued tal­ly numbers to bank customers be­fore they could deposit or withdraw money from their bank accounts; wasting many man hours or days! It was the days when bank account holders could withdraw money from only the branches of the bank in which their accounts were dom­iciled! But those sorry days were put behind us with the emergence of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Solu­do as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. He began the banking re­form by mandating the banks to re­capitalise their capital base to N25 billion. This led to the emergence of 25 strong, vibrant and healthy banks that could compare favour­ably with other banks on the glob­al sphere!

The banking reform also en­tailed online system whereby all branches of banks are linked with internet service, allowing bank ac­count holders to deposit and with­draw money from any branch of the bank irrespective of the branch the account is domiciled. This made banking in the country smooth, easier and efficient. The greatest innovation in the banking sector was the introduction of the automatic teller machine (ATM). With these machines on ground, banking halls are no longer crowd­ed like the days of yore as bank cus­tomers can now make withdrawal, deposit money into their accounts or transfer money to other custom­er accounts via the wonderful ma­chine (ATMs).

Water processing companies also emerged in this era under re­view. Today, there are many wa­ter processing factories that make bottled and sachet water across the country. These have also improved the employment opportunities in the land.

•Victor Anya, a public affair an­alyst, writes from Lagos

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