President Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians that he will not be party to inflicting pains on Nigerians but warned that the country cannot continue to borrow to fund its economy.
He gave the assurance at the 2011 Christmas Carol Service held at the banquet hall of the presidential villa last night.
He said the whole world was experiencing economic challenges and Nigeria was not exception but it will fizzle out soon.
“I will plead with religious leaders, both Christians and Muslims, to join government and see how we will improve the economy of this nation.
“We are witnessing a nation, at least those who are my age, 50 years and above, as the years are going the challenges are becoming more. Most societies are becoming more enlightened. The demand for power has increased, the demand for water, the demand for everything. Probably at Independence, how many cars did we have in this country? Even after the civil war, how many vehicles did we have? How many roads? How many streets had light?
“I remember the day I was chatting with a group of elders and they said after the war, there was light everywhere, they travelled out and so on. I came to live in Port Harcourt in 1955 , even then, it was only Port Harcourt that had light, even the big cities, Bonny… But now, government must make sure even the smallest village and settlements have light. Without light you cannot preserve farm produce, so now the demand for everything has expanded over the period, there are more challenges.
And we believe with the present, for the past several years, government has been borrowing money to run its affairs and the amount we borrow continues to increase. Who are we borrowing this money for ? Who will come and upset the debts? I normally asked. And of course the professionals in the oil industry are making predictions that the oil reserve that we have, that in 35 to 40 years will dry up.
“By God’s grace we will discover more oil reserves, but based on what we have now and assuming we are unable to discover more, in 35 to 40 years, it will dry up. I pray not to live up to that time anyway, but some of the people here will witness that situation.