Liberal Mind

Liberal Mind With Adetunji Ayobrown

 

Money doesn’t do anything; or rather, money is not the solution to all
things, most especially when it is considered by some as solution it
will then become the problem, a critical lesson the Nigerian Federal
Government refused to learn from last Paris debt crisis. Because if
this is not so, why would a right thinking administration bend to the
path of becoming a debtor nation after several years of rigorous
physical, economical and psychological trauma faced during the last
liability crisis.
When a nation is lying to itself, it means it will fail, between
buying foreign foods or taking foreign loans, which one sinks economy
faster, leading it to serious crisis, a debate topic given to a
secondary school students as assignment. Not knowing what and how to
tackle this, a neighbour’s son came asking for my contributions and
advice. As if it was a do or die affair, in the early hours when I was
just recovering from my carryover sleep, this innocent boy put
pressure on me till I was able to come up with something reasonable
and tangible. Oh my God, like many more other countrymen and women, I
am in a dilemma, how can I explain these scenario to coming
generations, how do I come to up with any good explanation on why this
government became enemy of foreign goods and foods but advocates of
foreign loans and borrowing unscrupulously for the fun of it?
According to economists and financial experts, nine out of ten
necessary attributes on the checklists of failed nations is
unsolicited loans and debts. Unfortunately, many people do not
understand reasons behind the 8th National Assembly’s refusal of the
$30billion loan request by the Federal Government except for political
reasons adduced by few on pages of newspapers.
Money is neither good nor bad, neither friend nor foe, it is its
mismanagement that makes it become a burden; ask those familiar with
these terms. Money is just the oil that smoothen the wheels and not
the engine that drives the real growth. Our external debt in 2015 was
$10.32 billion and it escalated to $22.08 billion in the second
quarter this year, which is 114 per cent increase. If we had gotten
the loan requested then, our external debt would have catapulted to
over $52 billion, which is not sustainable under our present economic
indicators.
Gaining prosperity is one of those development strategies individual
nation do privately, clandestine surreptitiously, because not that
there is anything wrong, just that it is best done alone. With FG
owing 80% of the total, Nigeria debt profile stands at N25.7 trillion
according to Debt Management Office as announced to the House of
Representatives Committee of Public Account. But how can a country of
such unsustainable debt profile be bent on taking another $30billion
loans? This is really worrisome, many Nigerians and its friends are
already calling for caution.
It is not what we don’t have that limit us as a nation but what we
already have and don’t use. That as a result of the border closure, we
generate N5billion daily was a statement credited to Nigeria Customs
Services, what happened to such funds? However, because they run the
government and our banks, many of them tend to think they could just
be mean to everyone citizens, what nonsense? Little wonder, why the
8th National Assembly rejected the $30 billion loan as requested then
by President Buhari under the external borrowing plan.
Money is nothing but a concept, bank notes are bit of papers but with
enormous power, perpetual debt trap with the current upswing in
borrowings, Nigerians may one day wake up to find itself tenant in its
own house, should the National Assembly give in to such unnecessary
economic and financial burden. Nigerians don’t want their country to
be recolonised by creditor banks. Save Nigeria from sinking into the
dark gully of a perpetual debt traps.
Though, some argued that even United States is also borrowing but what
is rational? Is it to keep borrowing because another country is
borrowing? Face the reality, loans are not charities, most of those
encouraging more borrowing are parasitic consultants, commission
agents, rent seeking fronts and contractors, Nigeria needs to be very
cautious.
They will always win, as Las Vegas is the America’s playground, so are
international banks and financial institutions, their money makes more
money; the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Some will win
and some will definitely loose.
Aftermaths of Paris debts are still fresh in memories. All thanks to
former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, late Shehu Yar’Adua and Dr
Goodluck Jonathan tempted too but refused to plunge the economy into
unnecessary financial loan burdens, the difference; many Nigerians
took to their twitter handles in their reactions…it is very obvious,
this is not hate speech.
These loans ideal represents everything that is wrong with our
national economic survival, with the current escalation of borrowing,
we will be walking into debt slavery and move from landlords to become
tenants in our country. If Nigeria keeps listening to bankers and
contractors, and continue borrowing, then we are burying ourselves and
leaving behind for our children a legacy of debt burden,
Good thinking, good product is a popular quote, we need to find
solutions to Nigeria’s problems and don’t create more in the name of
foreign loans. Money should be the payment received for clever
thinking and hard work and not just begging for it. Money is a placebo
and not a cure, foreign loans and debts may seem highly lucrative but
it is also highly dangerous.
Wise countries trade what they have for what they want and not looking
for concessions or loans trades instead. If we can’t afford what we
want today, we should rather buy less but of quality things. No
explanation is tenable for huge $30billion, little indulgence are the
way forward, ask developed nations if such is cool. Mumbo jumbo, when
Nigeria is seen playing around with money, it gives creditor nations
power over our economy and makes us exposed and also vulnerable.
Playing a game when you have got everything to lose is rather not only
demoralising but nonsensical.
Debt is a millstone round the neck, which in the short and long run
affects our wealth as well as our health. I’m wondering who will
educate the Nigerian economic team on this. Wealth happens slowly over
a period of time when surplus is turned into something that will work
for us. How many times has this scenario played itself out in our
history? When you about to take, be ready to give, ask the Chinese.
Nigerians say no to legacy of bad debts hidden by good name.
This is an ugly truth, from the genteel to uncouth, savvy to the plain
stupid, deserving to undeserving, wealth and money making are just a
bit like sports, the more you practice the better you become,
instructions and guidance of financial experts’ warnings should be
harkened to. Arguments against these foreign loans are objective,
serious point of view to consider, FG don’t have to like it. Take time
to consider this before we risk actions that maybe fatal, sinking the
entire country into another perpetual debt traps is dangerous, please
think more than twice is just the simple message from ordinary
Nigerians.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via
aayobrown@gmail.com

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