By: Ologun Ayonitemi
President Bola Tinubu declares that Nigeria won’t continue with an economic theory that squanders 90% of revenue on external debt servicing, hindering development.
During the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association at Chief MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, the President provided assurance.
Tinubu stated that prosperity hinges on eradicating poverty, a goal achievable with the collaboration of Nigeria’s private sector leaders.
“Can we continue to service external debts with 90 per cent of our revenue? It is a path to destruction. It is not sustainable.
‘’We must make the very difficult changes that are necessary for our country to get up from slumber and be respected among the great nations of the world,” he said.
Addressing the conference’s theme, “Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,” Tinubu emphasized the need for decisive actions to spur the country’s growth.
“We cannot have the country we desire without the reforms we have initiated. It is painful at the beginning, in the short and medium term, but we must do what we have to do to take this nation to its great destiny.
‘’It is not about you and it is not about me. It is about our generations yet unborn, for whom we must bequeath a great and prosperous country,” he said.
Reflecting on his judicial reforms as Lagos State Governor, Tinubu reaffirmed his dedication to finalizing compensation for judicial officers and legal practitioners. He stressed that genuine justice reform starts with top-tier salaries and benefits for Nigeria’s legal professionals.
“You are learned. I want to learn. Why are we so blessed and we are still lacking? We must have a change of attitude and a change of our mind set.
“We accuse our nation and its previous leaders. We complain a lot of the past. Is that the solution? No! Let us look forward and be determined! God has given us what we need”.
‘’We must work hard with determination to make our country great and it begins with you who are seated here with me,” he said.
Responding to UBA Plc and Heirs Holdings Chairman, Mr Tony Elumelu, the president lamented Nigeria’s struggles with poverty and inadequate electricity. He reaffirmed his administration’s dedication to securing the necessary electricity for economic growth.
“Yes, it is a shame not to have adequate electricity for the mass majority of homes in Nigeria and to power our industries. How can we address poverty without electricity?
‘’We can take many people out of poverty with uninterrupted electricity supply. Poverty is not acceptable, and we must banish it,” the President said.
NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, voiced the association’s trust in the President’s capability to provide effective governance. He attributed this confidence to Tinubu’s impressive record as Lagos State Governor from 1999 to 2007.
Yakubu said, “President Tinubu got it right in Lagos, and it is our considered expectation that as President of Nigeria, you will not only replicate your achievements in Lagos, but surpass them for our country.”
The conference was attended by over 16,190 lawyers, include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi; Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila and Minister of Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike.
In attendance were also Sports Minister, Sen. John Enoh, ex-Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha, previous NBA Presidents, and high-ranking officials.