…where are the infrastructure we were promised? Budgets have not been implemented even by half, yet the country is borrowing more and producing a tidal wave of debts that will eventually crush the next generation in red ink and likely crash our economy well before then.

Parents are saddled with graduates who cannot find jobs. Middle class parents are paying their graduate children stipends and pleading with all their friends to find them jobs. Are their friends not in the same country? The poor who managed to educate their children to become graduates have seen them becoming sales girls earning a pittance, security guards at companies or “Okada” riders. For the first time in our history, parents are funding their children’s marriages, renting houses for their married children and paying their grandchildren school fees! The few available jobs are allocated to senators and top notch politicians who fill the vacancies with fewer candidates from their own bloated lists. The political, social and economic elite and their friends in the intellectual space are educating children whose only viable options are to take jobs abroad or come home to become entertainers, disc jockeys or night club entrepreneurs. In the last three years, even before the rise of ethno-nationalism and populism in the West, it has become harder to obtain legal residential statuses abroad and it is going to get tougher! The world is closing up at alarming rates as competition rises.

What is the plan for the 7.3 million children born to Nigeria every year? When our parents and us, who are raising millennials, were stealing and we were grabbing monies from the treasury and keeping it for our children and children’s children, did we ever pause to think of the collective dangers to generations yet to be born? Did we think of the hospitals that will not be built? The roads that will not be constructed? The schools that will not be built or funded? The power stations that will not be invested in? The research that will not be done? The creativity that will not be unleashed because the tools to nurture it are not there? No! We were shortsighted. We wanted the MacMansions, the exotic vacations, the luxury cars, the private jets, the ivy league universities we wanted our children to attend to the exclusion of the poor. We we’re unenlightened about our selfish interests. Now the children are grown! We bred them to be the creme de la creme. We bred them to take over. We bred them to become captains of industry, great researchers, creators and inventors. Now they are ensconced abroad or are coming back to nothing but decay. They cannot and will not take over in Nigeria because they were raised to be self-absorbed. They cannot stand the grit of this “shithole”. Some of them have become a shame to us in the quiet of our homes because they have taken to drug addiction borne out of frustration or overindulgence.

Sadly we haven’t learnt a thing! The fundamental principle that can guarantee the future of Nigeria is the commitment to give our children and future generations of Nigerians a better life. In our different traditions and cultures, there exists a sacred covenant to make life better for those who will come after us. How and why we have lost it, so fast, is confounding. Nigeria is so blessed that we have no excuse for not leaving our children a greater and secured country, with opportunity for all.

According to the latest figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO), the nation has borrowed N7.51 trillion from domestic markets and $15 billion from external sources. What is the plan to set Nigeria’s finances on a sustainable course, given how dangerously mired in debt our country has become?

From generation to generation, the sacred covenant of making the future better than today is ensured through sacrifice. That sacrifice is the will to work and save today in order to build tomorrow. It is a time tested value that has made nations strong, prosperous and great. There is no shortcut to a growing standard of living without investment and there can be no investment without savings.

Nigeria is not preparing a bright future for the 0-18 demographic. Instead, we are eating up their future through individual corruption, official corruption and escalating debt, fueled by consumption. Every naira stolen from the treasury is a naira that could fund education, health, infrastructure, and so on. The country’s debt profile is rising astronomically through local and foreign borrowing, without any investment in people and infrastructure to justify the huge borrowing.

According to the latest figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO), the nation has borrowed N7.51 trillion from domestic markets and $15 billion from external sources. What is the plan to set Nigeria’s finances on a sustainable course, given how dangerously mired in debt our country has become? We are destined for a vicious “debt super-cycle” of lower government revenues and more borrowing at ever-increasing costs, if the deficit spending continues to be on government payrolls and services.

Nigeria can be on a sustainable fiscal and economic path when we invest in the education and health of our children, when we stop stealing and investing in consumption today at the expense of tomorrow, when we invest in the education and health. Not, when we subsidise the present to compromise the future.

By the way, where are the infrastructure we were promised? Budgets have not been implemented even by half, yet the country is borrowing more and producing a tidal wave of debts that will eventually crush the next generation in red ink and likely crash our economy well before then.

These unsustainable debt and deficit burdens were not imposed upon us by some outside force, they were created by choice. President Obasanjo paid off our national debt and succeeding leaders borrowed to return the country to its bad habit. I fear for Nigeria! I believe the ballooning population of young people will eventually restore our brains to default setting because our leaders are making the tragic choice of mortgaging our children’s future.

Nigeria can be on a sustainable fiscal and economic path when we invest in the education and health of our children, when we stop stealing and investing in consumption today at the expense of tomorrow, when we invest in the education and health. Not, when we subsidise the present to compromise the future.

News Reporter

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