Re : It’s Time to Add Value to Nigeria’s Youths.
It is my pleasure to reply to your detailed, sensitising and instructive letter to us, the Nigerian youths as published in your “Ben Murray Bruce Making Common Sense” column in the prestigious THISDAY Newspaper dated Monday, November 7, 2016 and titled: “It’s Time to Add Value to Nigeria’s Youths”. I thank you so much sir for creating time to write such volume which sought to encourage us, protect our interest and prepare us for the tasks ahead despite your busy and tight schedules as a serving senator. I’m persuaded to believe you were prompted by your avuncular and empathetic disposition towards young people. You have by this singular act extended a great deal of honour and regard to Nigerian youths and given us sense of importance and belonging in the Nigerian project which has been eluding us over the years. This is what our hearts crave. I therefore had to take up my pen to reply in reciprocation of the honour and appreciation of your uncommon regard. Please accept my gratitude Sir!
Secondly, I would like to commend you on all your patriotic efforts to ensure local content and home grown technology are appreciated and patronised so that we as a nation can become self-reliant. I believe this is the essence of your laudable campaign “BuyNaijatoGrowtheNaira”. Of a truth Sir, the syndrome of preferring imported consumer products can at best put undue pressure on the Naira and consequently see its intractable depreciation.
Equally commendable is your common sense revolution which is spreading like wild fire and gaining popularity on daily bases especially among the youths. Common sense is of vital and paramount importance in leadership and governance. In fact, all it takes for us to understand that the Naira grows in strength when we consume what we produce and produce what we consume is COMMON SENSE! Unfortunately, our leaders have made us to believe that this phenomenon is not common after all, as virtually most consumer goods including common ones such as toothpicks, matches, clothing, rice and so on come from beyond our shores despite abundant natural, material and human resources. What an irony? What a paradox?
No nation can grow an economy driven by the consumption of imported products as is the case with Nigeria today. In other words, no consumer economy grows to formidability! That is why emerging economic powers like China, India and South Korea had to look inwards to enhance their production base with right protectionist policies in place so as to change from import economy status to export economy one. Negligence of this simple measure contributed much to our woes. Hence the ideal of the campaign (BuyNaijatoGrowtheNaira) as the surest way out of the woods!!
To commence in earnest, let me state it clearly that I concur completely with you on the issue of Federal Government’s proposal to procure a loan of $29.6 billion. Like you stated, I too have not been against securing foreign loans as long as it is geared towards the development of the nation in terms of economic building and not salaries or extraneous schemes. Otherwise we the youths could be left with a huge burden that will put us in perpetual bondage. Please Sir, relent not in sounding this note of caution so that the loan will be put to judicious use should they go ahead with the proposal. Nations like China and India who borrowed, invested their loans in their youths through massive industrialisation, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), human capacity building and entrepreneurial funding. These avenues ensured the regeneration of the loan. Today, those nations have emerged intimidating economic giants posing great threats to the west. If we must achieve same, then we must be ready to put our youths at the centre of the circle by investing in them just as Franklin Roosevelt — the 32nd president of American admonished-‘We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for