Voice of Emancipation: The Irony of National Debt.

Nigeria today, with all its wealth from mineral resources and many more still untapped, is now on an increasingly perilous slide into a huge national debt.

Last week I wrote about the tale of two futures, considering how wealth is distributed geographically. I discussed the way the place of a person’s birth dictates their fate for life. In this week’s article, I want to consider national debt and how it affects our everyday living.

 
Many may wonder why a nation’s debt matters at all. However, if you are a follower of history, the understanding of how debt works can help us appreciate why there is the irony of plenty for a few whilst there is nothing for many.
 
Before the creation of this present nation state arrangement that we all are used to, what we used to have was kingdoms. Most of these kingdoms were sufficiently viable that they did not have to inflict debt upon their population. Each man contributed according to his ability towards the survival of the kingdom, and life was beautiful. Many people were able to bequeath inheritance to their descendants, passing down what they themselves had inherited, as well as what they had accumulated from their labour.
 
However, the Europeans’ quest for enlargement into other people’s territory in the Middle Ages saw these arrangements fade into oblivion. In this manner, the nation state of this present age was formed. As much as the quest for knowledge has improved our everyday living, it has done more damage than good. Modern civilization has ended up impoverishing the world, placing the wealth in the hands of a selected few.
 
For instance, if we look at the number of billionaires in the US compared to the total debt owed by the country, one may wonder why there has not been a policy put in place to compel these rich people to do more to share their wealth. The US as a nation owes around $28 trillion as of 2021, a figure that is projected to continue to rise, making it a highly probable prospect that the US could go bankrupt in the near future. The combined fortune of the US billionaires is around $4.8 trillion, with many of them paying taxes that are not proportionate to their earnings, compared to the everyday regular person.
 
As much as countries like the USA, UK, France and Australia, which are world economic powers, are heavily indebted, many other smaller countries are extremely wealthy. For instance, Norway, which has a population of around 5 million people, has a sovereign wealth fund of around $1.3 trillion, compared to a total debt of around $171 billion . Norway doesn’t have to borrow money to run the economy because it is consistently in surplus.
 
Another good example of a country that has maximised their fortune over the years, and so avoided the spiral of national debt, is Brunei. The small Asian country is currently the fifth richest nation in the world, receiving most of its income from the sales of crude oil. This has enabled it to provide free education, subsidized housing and no income or sales tax levied on its citizens.
 
These above statistics show us why African countries are heavily indebted. The fact that we were once colonised by many of the European nations that have huge burden of national debt meant that we weren’t allowed to develop at our own pace. We have inherited a system that is alien to our culture, impoverishing the majority of our people just to benefit a few in society.
 
 
Nigeria today, with all its wealth from mineral resources and many more still untapped, is now on an increasingly perilous slide into a huge national debt. With the advent of democracy in 1999, and the concerted efforts to renegotiate our national debt by the Obasanjo/Atiku regime, Nigerians were hoping that a glorious dawn for this sleeping giant was about to begin. In his wisdom, Obasanjo ensured that Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the most prudent Governor during his presidency, got elected to take over from him. This he did to ensure that greedy politicians were not given the chance to loot the treasury and the common wealth of our people, which would otherwise drive our people deeper into debt.
 
Alas, no one expected that Yar’Adua would die before the end of his tenure, thereby paving the way for his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, to succeed him. He would allow greedy politicians, lacking the nation’s best interests at heart, to loot the treasury and plunge the nation back into the desolate days of huge national debt. Today we have an even greater problem on our hands, as the revenue of the country is insufficient to meet its debt.
 
The population explosion in Nigeria is also not helping matters. As the seventh most populous country in the world at present, and the prospect looming large of becoming number two by the end of the century, this level of national debt will become a burden too great for the country to be able to bear.
 
Already Nigeria spends over 80% of her revenue on servicing debt, yet the mere survival and day-to-day running of the country is dependent on taking out even more debt. If this is allowed to continue uncurbed, everything we have as a country will end up endowed to a foreign corporation or government. This in itself is a modern form of slavery, where the government of a country cannot dictate what happens in their own land. They will be forced to submit to instruction from a foreign agency or government, dictating how they are to control the assets that ought to be for the benefit of their people.
 
In view of this travesty of national debt which is capable of keeping us in perpetual bondage in Nigeria, I believe it is time for the Yoruba people to get their act together and run from this oncoming danger bearing down on us. Many people cling to the belief that one day a Messiah will arrive and steer Nigeria to greatness. I must disagree with this, as experience over the years has shown that the lot of our people continues to dwindle since the nation’s independence in October 1960. The worst case now facing Nigeria sees the month of October as no longer a time to celebrate getting our independence, but instead becoming a time of mourning, commemorating the victims of the ENDSARS killing, and marking the time our voices were crushed by tyranny.
 
The fact that this happened on Yoruba soil should shock every Yoruba person who is still in their right frame of mind. We the Yorubas are not obliged to remain in a Nigeria that continues to deprive our people of their basic human right to freedom, just because some people want us to. The call now is for the Yoruba people, both home and abroad, to have a round table discussion on whether we continue to allow Nigeria steal from us everything we inherited from our ancestors; or instead to walk away from Nigeria whilst we still can, to save us and our descendants from this impending doom. The ball is now in our court to decide what future we want for our people. The generations to come will be the judge of our decision: will we have failed them or helped to shape for them a better future?
By Kayode Emola 15 October 2021

Comments
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

Freedom, Freedom,Freedom

 
 
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

A Country Endowed With Alot Of Mineral Resources Yet Fail To Meet Her People Demand

 
 
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

Second Slavery, Borrower A Servant Of Lender

 
 
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

Lost Of Priority, And A Nation That Major On Minor Things Will End Up In Dept Trap. And Also A Borrower Is A Servant To A Lender.

 
 
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

Freedom, Let My People Go. Enough Is Enough. Self Determination Is Our Weapon

 
 
OLUWASOLA RUFUS Olabamiji 1 y

Reading This Article Make Me Cry, Because YORUBA Has Loose Her Value, Compromise Her Standard , Sold Out Just Because Of Selfish Nonchalant Attitude Bamubamu Ni Mo Yo, All Our Heroes Effort As Been Eroded Away.