From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Peter Jasper Akionla, has declared that Nigerians will suffer more, if President Muhammed Buhari succeeds in obtaining fresh external loan.
Akionla warned that the loan, if it is obtained, will further compound Nigeria’s economic woes rather than ameliorating the situation.
Akinola stated this on Thursday at the graduation ceremony of 138 youths sponsored by Peter Akinola Foundation for Youths Center For Industrial Training, to acquire skills in six different vocations.
Akinola said that no nation that desires to develop her manpower would continually relying on external loans, stressing that “a nation who goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing. Borrowing is immoral”.
“We are borrowing money to do what? The one they have borrowed before, what can they show they have done with it? If we can see the work of the money you borrowed, no problem. But when you borrow money and share among yourselves, it’s a crime against Nigerian people”, he added.
Lamenting the spate of insecurity across the country, the former Anglican Primate declared that Nigeria may find it difficult to overcome challenges of kidnapping and other vices, if the government at the centre fails to place high premium on engaging qualified Nigerian professionals for contracts which will in turn lead to reduction in unemployment in the society.
“The beginning of the solution will be that we begin to appreciate and put high premium on what we have. If we don’t do that, 10 years from now, the Nigeria market will be over crowded and the crime rate will increase. When you have trained people who have acquired skills, you won’t give them job to do and they will start roaming the streets and commit crimes.
“I will pray and urge all our government and employers of labour to put high premium on those we have trained in this country.
“We have money for politics, we have money to steal, we have money to defraud but we don’t have money to pay our Nigerian workers. We should appreciate what we have and we should make provisions for people who are trained. That way, our economy will boom and our country will grow.
“If people are gainfully employed, they will not be thinking of kidnapping but because they are not gainfully employed, what are they supposed to be doing? You will be bringing Chinese to be doing them the jobs of our people. It is a crime against Nigerian people. Bringing Chinese to work in this country is a crime in our government against Nigerian people”.
“Until we get these people gainfully employed, this trend will continue. But we will also appeal to these people who have become devil’s workshop; those kidnappers are also Nigerians like them. All those who don’t have skills can come here to our foundation for skills acquisition”. The former Anglican primate stated.
In his charge, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Tunde Lemo, urged the graduands to be self reliant and engage themselves in programmes that will develop them as well as satisfy the country’s manpower needs.
Lemo, one of the sponsors of the training, who spoke through one of the members of the Foundation, Reuben Sogaolu disclosed that one of the principal aims of the Foundation was to annually bring 100 “hopeless” Nigerian youths out of the streets and make them become useful to the country at large.