Achievements of PDP led Administration (1999 – 2007)

The Hard Facts

The Military era ended in 1999 when President Olusegun Obasanjo took over the reins of government. The newly elected PDP government inherited deficit and near collapse of economic and social infrastructure. Apart from slow growth in Gross Domestic Product that stood at 1.19 percent in 1999, there were High Double Digit inflation in the range of 20 to 25 percent, loose Fiscal Policy with fiscal deficits averaging 3.5 percent of GDP and low growth in oil sector due to lack of investment at 7.5 percent.  Again, there was huge debt overload, both external and domestic debt that hovered at 70 percent, resulting in difficulty in debt servicing. The political atmosphere was full of uncertainties. As a pariah nation, with a stinking international image, all brought about by the diplomatic blunders of the General Sani Abacha regime (from 17 November 1993 to 8 June 1998) the country was like the bad kid on the international block. Overall, the country was eager for a life-saving regime.

Achievements of Obasanjo’s Regime (1999-2007)

Establishment of Institutions

  1. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar’s administration established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  1. Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)
  1. He strengthened the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to fight corruption in Nigeria. The administration of Obasanjo gave sleepless nights to corrupt officials and the rating of the country in 2006 was BB- . Top politicians like former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, etc, were jailed by these agencies.
  1. Established, National Pension Commission
  1. Universal Basic Education (UBE)
  1. Established National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)


  1. Foreign reserve when Chief Obasanjo/Atiku came into power was just $2 billion in 1999. But when he was leaving office by 2007, foreign reserve was a whopping $43 billion.
  1. They secured an $18 billion debt relief from the Paris and London clubs respectively and got Nigeria free of debt
  1. Chief Obasanjo and Atiku brought in mobile telecommunications (GSM) into Nigeria, which arguably has been the greatest achievement by any Nigerian leader.
  1. Expanded the banking industry through recapitalization, which created massive jobs directly and indirectly and the number brought down from 89 to 25 viable banks.
  1. Foreign Direct Investment flourished rising to more than $ 4 billion, which positively impacted on the Stock Exchange Market. FDI and Portfolio inflows doubled every year – about US$7bn in 2006; non-oil exports grew by 24% in 2006 and China and India becoming preferred partners.
  1. Raised the National minimum wage to N18, 000 per month.
  1. In 2006, the Nigerian economy grew by 7% (GDP growth rate). Inflation rate dropped from 17% to 10% by September 2006.
  1. In 2006, the non-oil sector, especially agriculture, grew by 8% up from 6.5% in 2005 (almost twice as fast as the oil sector)
  1. Nigeria had the most profitable Stock Market in the world with an average Return on Investment (ROI of over 31%)
  1. Stable prices (exchange rate, inflation) and stronger banking system powering NSE; thousands of Nigerians made money out of the capital market; NSE capitalization rose to about US$100bn in 2008, ahead of Egypt and second only to JSE.
  1. The Pension Reforms Act 2004 established for Nigeria a new and contributory pension scheme for both the private and the public sector. Pension Fund now in excess of N600bn.
  1. 21 companies with market capitalization of US$1bn and above. There are 22 companies with such profile in West Africa, out of which 21 are in Nigeria – none in 1999. 

Development Programmes/Projects

  1. Chief Obasanjo/Atiku launched Nigeria’s first satellite into space, Nigeria Satellite 1 which ensured good internet and mobile communication.
  1. Ensured the dramatic development of Abuja
  2. Chief Obasanjo/Atiku built the Abuja National Stadium
  1. They established the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
  1. Established the Open University

National Security

  1. Established the National Civil Defense Corps amongst others.

Agriculture And Food Security

Situation inherited by Obasanjo/Atiku’s administration

  • Scarcity of seedlings for farmers.
  • Unavailability of fertilizer to farmers.
  • Wastage of farm produce.
  • Lack of emphasis in agriculture.
  • High importation of locally produced food items such as poultry products, fruit juices, plantain chips, toothpicks, leading to undue pressure on the Naira 

Obasanjo/Atiku’s Interventions and results:

  • Increased interest in agriculture due to improved government policies.
  • Presidential initiative on rice, livestock, cassava, vegetable oils, tropical fruits and tree crops led to a significant boost in agricultural production. Growth rate in Agriculture sector increased from 2.9% in 1998 to 7% in 2005.
  • Annual production of fingerlings and table fish increased from 2.0 million metric tons and 30,000 metric tons in 2004 to 50 million metric tons and 80,000 metric tons respectively in 2006.
  • The output of cash crop such as Rice, Cocoa and Rubber also grew by 24%, 36% and 10% respectively. Cocoa production increased from 170,000 metric tons in 1999 to about 460,000 metric tons in 2006.
  • Five new improved cassava varieties with potential yield of 30 – 80 tons/ha compared with the pre-existing yield of 12 – 15 tons/ha formerly released to farmers nationwide. Annual production of cassava tubers increased from 35million metric tons in 2005 to over 49 million metric tons in 2005.
  • The Nation’s silo storage capacity increased by about 100,000 metric tons.
  • Annual production of over 10,000 metric tons of assorted vegetables.
  • Nigeria became one of the global leaders in poultry production.
  • Improved allocation and distribution of fertilizer and farming implements.
  • Enhanced local and foreign markets for farm produce.
  • Increased in output of major crops such as maize, millet, sorghum, rice, beans, yam etc. 

Water Resources and Rural Development 

  • Water supply coverage increased from 35% to 65% between 1999 and 2007, hence increased food production through irrigation.
  • A total of 2,170km Rural Feeder roads awarded for rehabilitation under the 2006 MDG Poverty Reduction Fund Release.
  • 89 Boreholes, 41 Open Wells, 24 Micro Earth Dams, 480 Tube Wells and over 536 Fish Ponds constructed under the National Special Programme for Food Security (NSPFS)
  • 1,044 water pumps distributed
  • The construction of the Gurara water transfer project (capacity 850 million cubic metres), which was a tremendous achievement in the development of Dams and Reservoirs.  

Road And Railway Infrastructure

  • Between 1999 and February 2007, FGN spent N116bn to complete 117 roads and bridges covering 4,747km.
  • As at the time of handing over to Yar’Adua there were 118 new and on-going projects covering 632,428km with some attaining completion levels of 96.6%. Amount spent on these projects stood at N187.35bn.
  • Total length of road projects awarded (completed and on-going) since 1999 is 19,801.05km estimated at N229.019bn. Some of the road dualisation projects are Ibadan-Ife; Benin-Asaba; Mile 3 Diobu – P/Hacourt; Benin Bypass; Kaduna Refinery road; Onitsha-Owerri; Nyanya-Keffi; Ibadan-Ilorin; Benin-Warri; Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta; Kaduna Eastern Bypass; Abuja-Lokoja; East-West and Kano-Maiduguri.
  • Many roads were designed for future dualisation, including Kano-Kongolam; Lokoja-Benin; Keffi-Jos; Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi roads. The plan was to dualize all major federal roads by 2020 

New Railway Infrastructure 

  • Under Obasanjo/Atiku, the Federal Government approved new railway plans for the standard gauge. $8.3bn was estimated for the project, while $2bn was obtained as a soft loan from the Chinese government.
  • 3 longitudinal lines: Lagos – North; Warri – North; and Port Harcourt – North.
  • 4 Latitudinal lines, with extension lines to cover all State capitals and major commercial cities

Power (Electricity): 

Situation inherited by Obasanjo/Atiku administration

  • 1986-1999: No major overhaul carried out on existing plants
  • 1990-1999: No new Power Stations built
  • 1999: Only 19 out of 79 generating units in operation, with actual daily generation averaging 1800MW
  • The last transmission line built in 1987

Obasanjo/Atiku’s Interventions and results:

Major Infrastructural Expansion. Nineteen new power stations under construction to generate 4,500MW of power

  • Geregu Plant, Kogi State: completed and commissioned February 2007
  • Omotosho Plant, Ondo State: completed and commissioned May 2007
  • Papalanto Plant, Ogun State: was on going before hand over
  • Alaoji Plant, Abia State: On going before handover
  • Egbema Plant, Imo State: On going before handover
  • Omoku Plant, Rivers State: State completed, Federal was on going before handover
  • Calabar Plant, Cross River State: was on going before handover
  • Gbarain Plant, Bayelsa State: Was on going before handover
  • Ihovbor Plant, Edo State: Was on going before handover.
  • Mambilla Hydro Plant: 2000MW: Contract signed and civil works begun.
  • Energy generation increased from 1,800MW in 1998 to about 2700MW in 2004.
  • Funding increased from about $50m in 1999 to about $380m in 2005.
  • 7,000km of transmission lines nationwide and 22,000 transformers were installed.
  • Over 600 project sites nationwide were initiated to bring electricity to about 1000 rural communities. The entire project involved about 20,000 shipments comprising:
  • – 200km of gas pipeline
  • – 10,000 tons of material for power station equipment
  • – 67,500 tons of transmission tower materials
  • – 15,000km of distribution conductors
  • – 25,000 distribution transformers 

Information And Communication From 1999

  • Market Liberalization
  • International Recognition
  • Telecommunications Sector Reform
  • Communications Infrastructure Development.
  • State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI Project).
  • Wire Nigeria Project (WIN).
  • Internet Service Exchange (IXP)
  • Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)
  • Unprecedented Impact in Socio-Economic Development
  • Phenomenal Industry Growth (connected mobile line grew at about 100% annually)
  • Improved Tele-density (tele-density increased from a mere 0.45 lines per 100 persons in 1999 to 25 lines per 100 persons as at January 2007)
  • Nigeria was adjudged the fastest growing telecoms market in Africa and one of the fastest in the world by 2006
  • Private investment rose from $50m in year 1999 to $9.5b in 2007. This was also influenced by the revolution in the telecommunications
  • Over 34million connected lines
  • Massive employment generation
  • Massive Rural Telephony project launched. Two major projects initiated to provide Rural Telephony in 108 local governments spread across the country
  • NIPOST was upgraded to a world class postal institution

Heart Of Africa Project

  • A cohesive information programme for Nigeria’s image management and economic progression. Arguably, the most ambitious marketing and ethical blueprint designed by any Nigerian government to tell the Nigerian story.
  • Ensured the right kind of information is received about Nigeria, both locally and internationally.
  • Repositioned Nigeria to serve as Africa’s preferred destination for political, business, social and cultural events.
  • Embraced a value orientation programme involving attitudinal and behavioral change tagged PRIDE – Patriotism Resourcefulness Integrity Distinction Enterprise.
  • Hosting of the largest colloquium of Nigerian mothers – “Mother’s Summit”. The summit became the plank for the implementation of PRIDE – The internal component of the project.
  • Nigerian brands marketed abroad through Bus, Escalator and Tube branding.


  • Restructured and modernized Food and Drug Administration regulatory processes. Counterfeit drugs in circulation dropped from 41% in 2001 to 16% in 2006.
  • Production capacity of local pharmaceutical industries increased from 25% to 40%; and their number rose from 70 to 200 in 6 years.
  • 110 destruction exercises of counterfeit and substandard products valued at N20billion. Pharmacovigilance Centre established to monitor adverse drug reactions and safety of medicines.
  • Over 400 Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) reports received, with 45 convictions secured in respect of counterfeit drugs related cases.
  • NAFDAC admitted as a member of the National Centre participating in the WHO Drug Safety Monitoring Programme.
  • On the strength of NAFDAC’s monitoring of salt iodization, Nigeria was rated as the first developing country to achieve Universal Salt Iodization.
  • Use of bromate by Nigerian bakers dropped from over 95% in 2001 to less than 0.01% in 2006.
  • There was very strict control on Narcotics and Controlled substances.  

Niger Delta 1958 – 1998

Situation inherited by Obasanjo/Atiku administration

  • 1958: British colonial government established Willinks Commission to tackle development challenges
  • 1961: Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) was created to facilitate development of the region. NDDB failed.
  • 1970: six out of 11 River Basin Development Authorities were established to address challenges of development in the Niger Delta
  • 1970 – 1980: Out of N214bn meant for all River Basin Development Authorities, only N227.2m went to the six RBDAs in the Niger Delta
  • 1981: Presidential Task Force (PTF) established and allocated 1.5% of Federation Account to develop the Niger Delta region. RBDAs and PTF failed.
  • 1992: OMPADEC established for rehabilitation and development of oil producing areas.
  • 1992 – 1998: OMPADEC received N23.2bn but failed to change the situation in the region.

Obasanjo/Atiku’s Interventions and results:

Niger Delta: 1999 – 2007 

  • 1999: 13% derivation introduced, leading to increase in revenue for the Niger Delta states from 26% in 1999 to 44% in 2003.
  • 2000: NDDC established to address challenges of development in the Niger Delta.
  • 2000 – 2006: NDDC received N176bn as allocation, six times the total monies allocated to past development commissions on Niger Delta development from 1961 – 1998.
  • 2000 – 2006: NDDC executed 2,035 projects involving 160 classrooms, 480 health centres, 173 roads, 47 bridges, 316 electrification schemes, 283 water projects, 62 jetties and 25 shore protection and erosion control projects.
  • 1999 – 2005: FGN spent N1.12bn on erosion and flood control projects in five Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Cross River, Rivers, Edo and Delta
  • A new five year development plan for the Niger Delta was initiated at the cost N20 trillion:

– Dualization of the East-West road

– Rural electrification of 396 communities in the region

– Upgrading of the Petroleum Training Institute, Warri, and Delta State to degree awarding institution. N1bn released for expansion of infrastructure and upgrading processes.

  • Launch of the New Master Plan for the Niger Delta by Mr. President in April 2007
  • Inauguration of a 50-Member “Consolidated Council on Social and Economic Development of Coastal States”
  • N2, 461,900,000,000tr allocated from the Federation Account to the six (6) States and all the LGAs in the South-South geo-political zone between June 1999 and April 2007.

Education: 1999-2007

  • Introduction of Universal Basic Education led to:

– Increase in primary school enrolment from 17million in 1999 to 22million in 2005

– Increase in Secondary school enrolment from 3.8m in 1999 to 6.2 in 2005

– Increase in tertiary school enrolment from 312,334 in 1999 to 779,253 in 2005

  • Restructuring of the Education Sector
  • Online processes for JAMB, NECO & WAEC Examinations
  • 40,000 teachers trained and retrained in 2006
  • Revitalization of the Education Tax Fund; and resuscitation of the scholarship scheme for students in tertiary institutions
  • Repositioning and reintegration of Polytechnics
  • Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP)
  • Procurement and distribution of 515 computer sets with complete accessories. Over 100 million spent on the computerization project.
  • Housing for All Teachers (HAT) initiative, using the Federal Capital Territory as a pilot scheme.
  • Renovation of structures; provision of additional classrooms, hostels and other facilities.

 Sports And Social Development

You will recall that the 2003 All-African Games was more than a game.

It created an upsurge in economic activities. It was a major boost to tourism in our country

It generated 50, 000 jobs which included volunteers and those engaged in informal businesses

Science And Technology

  • Nigeria’s first communication satellite (NIGCOMSAT -1), launched on May 13th, 2007. A hybrid satellite designed to operate in C, Ku, Ka, and L bands with footprints over Africa, part of Middle East and Southern Europe. It was sub-Saharan Africa’s first geostationary communication satellite. Fifty-five (55) Nigerian engineers involved in the design and building of all sub-systems of the satellite.
  • Through NIGCOMSAT-1, Nigeria was expected to receive $400m from African countries for their international telephone traffic alone. It was expected to trigger further convergence in ICTs and cause a reduction in subscription rates of ICT related services.
  • NigeriaSat-1 (low earth orbit sensing satellite) was launched in September 2003.
  • NigeriaSat – 2 (with a ground resolution of 2.5m) was also launched in 2007.
  • Nigeria’s ICT policy framework was approved in 2001, following which the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was established.
  • Nigeria had earlier launched her Micro-Satellite, code named NigeriaSat-1, an earth observation Micro-Satellite, the first low orbit remote sensing satellite, with its ground control station situated in Asokoro in Abuja and manned by Nigerian Engineers.
  • Nigeria now a Member of International Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) comprising the United Kingdom, China, Algeria, Turkey, Thailand, and Vietnam. This membership enables Nigeria have a global coverage and to receive daily revisit provision of real time data for dynamic remote sensing thus making the satellite in the DMC operationally marketable, apart from reduction in cloud problems and increased commercial value, setting a New international Earth Orbit standard and stimulating partner-nations-value added business and high profile in terms of international disaster support; and world’s first coordinated EO satellite constellation.
  • The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), the statutory body responsible for Nigeria’s Space science and technology programme, through its Space Application Support for Sustainable Development (SASSD): Facilitated the supply of high resolution imagery and generation of topographical maps for the preliminary planning of the railway alignment.
  • Ensured the development of a Fadama Land Information Management System (FLIMS) through its long term rice yield prediction and production monitoring using soil/agronomic data typical of landscapes and agro-ecological zones.
  • Mapped settlements and major highways in Nigeria.
  • Developed Early warning Systems for food security to provide warnings of imminent crop failure and other food security problems.
  • Developed models for cassava yield prediction through remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to provide relevant spatial and agro-meteorological data for field assessment and yield potential modeling including sub-plot sampling using satellite data and radiometer for field measurement of spectral reflectance and creating spatial database of Land and conditions suitable for sustainable production of cassava in Nigeria for the purpose of strategic national planning.
  • Updated the Land Use/ Cover Mapping of Nigeria
  • Identified Artisanal and Illegal Mining Sites in Nigeria using Remote Sensing GIS and GPS technologies
  • Mapped and monitored the impact of Gully Erosion in South-East Nigeria.
  • Mapped and monitored Flood Disaster Vulnerability in Nigeria
  • Provided Remote Sensing and GIS in Vector-Diseases Studies; for instance, Malaria Epidemiology
  • Nigeria now boasts of the likes of Zinox and Omatek (indigenous producers of branded systems which flourished under the Obasanjo Administration).

The Health Sector

  • Introduced the Ward Health System as a strategy for the revitalization of the Primary Health care System
  • In 2003 Government made provision for the construction of 200 Ward Health Centres (WHC). A total of 154 WHC out of 200 completed and fully functional.
  • Contracts for additional 380 PHC centres were awarded in 2004 to bring the total to 580 PHCs Nationwide
  • Government invested 100 million Euros to equip and upgrade eight teaching hospitals to “Five Star” status. These were:
    • University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital
    • Lagos University Teaching Hospital
    • Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria
    • University College Hospital Ibadan
    • Jos University Teaching Hospital
    • University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital
    • University of Calabar Teaching Hospital
    • University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ozalla, Enugu State
  • 15 other Federal Hospitals, 23 Federal Medical Centres, three Orthopedic Hospitals and eight Neuropsychiatry Hospitals renovated and re-equipped.

Air Transport

  • Re-certification of MMA by the United State Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on December 22, 1999.
  • Resurfacing and extension of runway of Yola, Enugu, Calabar, Kastina, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan Airports to accommodate 747 Tyre Aircraft.
  • Training and Retraining of security, fire & safety personnel to meet the challenges and threat of terrorism.

v Purchase of screening machines for all Airports.

v Purchase of apron buses for major international Airports.

v Provision of flight information display system (FIDS) for MMA.

  • Installation and Upgrading of airfield lighting in major Airports.
  • Installation of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at Sir Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
  • Acquisition of motorized Air Traffic Control Tower, the first of its kind in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • New concession for variously needed infrastructure at Airports were granted:
  • 5 Star Hotels
  • Aircraft maintenance facilities ( Hangers)
  • Warehouses (Cold and Dry)
  • Shopping Malls
  • Office Complexes
  • Aviation Fuel Deports
  • Petrol Station
  • Car Parks

Achievements Under Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)

  • The creation of NCAA in 1999 brought about the enthronement of professionalism, integrity and discipline in the conduct of aviation business and in safety oversight.
  • Effective regulatory activities and re- certification exercises.
  • Successful outing in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) universal audit of 2006 where Nigeria came up with about 93% record performances. A performance which ICAO recommended for other African countries to emulate.
  • Periodic Economic Audit of Nigerian Airline as a Surveillance mechanism to create a synergy between the financial health of an airline and its ability to provide safe and secure commercial aviation operations.
  • Six Nigerian Carriers allocated regional and transcontinental routes. 

Achievement Of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)

  • Injection of huge antennae of High Frequency [HF] and very High Frequency aeronautical radio among other communication facilities.
  • Procurement and Installation of 20 Very High Frequency Omni Directional Radio Range [VOR] equipment, 10 instrument landing system, locator beacons, On-Range directional beacons, Very High Directional Finder, among others.

Achievements Of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) Since 2003

  • Procurement and Installation of rural radio internet for dissemination of meteorological and other Information to rural dwellers.
  • Sophisticated, modern, computerized and automated equipment installed in its network to improve its data collection, processing and dissemination.
  • Forty-eight Automatic Weather Stations (AWOS) installed in Bauchi, Yola, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Markurdi, Abuja, Ibadan, Ilorin Obudu, Yenagoa, Calabar, etc
  • Nigeria was selected as one of the four beneficiaries of the 2nd generation satellite Group Receivers of METEOSAT image in Africa through the untiring effort of the Agency.
  • Installation/Refurbishing of 17 port cabins in the network by SAHCOL
  • Installation of 2 new Digital Weighbridges at Lagos Warehouse by SAHCOL

Transportation infrastructure

Before 1999 Nigeria had visible deficits in transportation infrastructure, such as dilapidated and failed roads nationwide, leading to poor transportation networks and increased highway accidents. In its intervention solution mechanism, Obasanjo/Atiku administration placed emphasis on the followings:

  • Emphasis on road rehabilitation, maintenance and management through the establishment of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), leading to rehabilitation of 500 roads in 2004 and over 1000 roads by the end of 2006.
  • Giving Nigerians better and expanded access through functional Highways and efficient Waterways.
  • Facilitating the creation of efficient railway networks.

To be continued