President Bola Tinubu has said that poverty eradication and investment promotion for wealth creation depends on justice reform.
The president made the assertion on Sunday in Abuja while declaring open the 63rd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) with the theme: ‘’Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation Building.’’
According to Tinubu, world class remuneration for legal professionals would also sanitise the judiciary for a prosperous Nigeria.
He also said that a new Nigeria was possible with his renewed hope but it would require taking bold decisions that would be painful at first but beneficial at the end.
He said that the bold steps his administration was taking to find lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the country would succeed only with the cooperation and collaboration of all especially the private sector.
“I am not cynical, I am factual, the critical and bold initiatives embarked upon will yield the desired results only with collaboration and cooperation of the private sector.
“We are so blessed and we are still lacking, change of mindset is what we need.
“We accused our previous leaders, we complain too much about the past, it is not the solution, we must look forward, God has given us creative minds and will”, he said.
The president said that the country could not continue to service external debt with about 90 per cent of its revenue hence the hard decision his administration was making in that regards.
He commended the NBA for the theme which he said was timely and implored the association to give his administration maximum support in order to succeed.
“I want to learn. Remind me of what I’m doing right, I will continue, whatever I am doing wrong, tell me, and I will change,’’ the president said.
In a keynote address, Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu said that eradication of poverty in the country was the ultimate solution to insecurity and extremism.
According to Elumelu, poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere, the ultimate panacea for insecurity and extremism is prosperity.
“This is why all of us must think of legacy and play our role and part now, that we can, to urgently support our young ones to become economically engaged, else we are doomed.
“We must give them hope. Hope of a better tomorrow. Let us not underestimate the power of hope.
“ Hope is what fuels the dreams of our youth, what ignites the determination of our entrepreneurs, and what unites us in our pursuit of a better future.
“Nations that prioritise their young go far , it is no coincidence that an America that created Harvard and Stanford, also produced Amazon, Microsoft and Google. We need the same focus on our young, their futures and ambitions,’’ Elumelu said.
He said it was important for the country to invest in security because banditry, kidnapping, oil theft and pipeline vandalisation created uncertainties, fears, deprivation, poverty, and untold hardship.
“Let us invest in brand Nigeria, we know the frustrations, we know that joblessness of our youth is a betrayal of a generation; and the plundering of our commonwealth is inhumane and cruel, but we have no other motherland than Nigeria,’’ he said.
He also noted the need to invest in women saying that women were the threads that hold families and societies together.
“Let us invest in our women. When a woman succeeds, families and communities are lifted out of poverty. It is no surprise that in my businesses, women lead and flourish.
“Let us invest in our power sector , let us create regulatory structures that reward success, that deliver to our people, our schools, our hospitals and our industries, the sustainable, robust power supply that our country so urgently needs.
“Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas?’
“We have idle gas fields and there is so much private capital to make the needed investments for gas production. Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st century industrialization,’’ he said.
The entrepreneur implored all Nigerians to approach the task of nation-building with unwavering determination, guided by the principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.
“Let our pursuit of nation-building be characterised by unwavering determination, empathy, and the commitment to create a legacy of progress, unity, and hope for generations to come.
For his part, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, tasked the legal practitioners on upholding the rule of law and promoting human rights.
He pledged that under him, the ministry of justice would work hard to promote people centred justice and that they would be guided by relevant provisions of the constitution.
It was reported that the 63rd AGC of the NBA according to its President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, was the largest gathering of professionals any where in the world with over 16,000 registered conferees.
It was also reported that the conference was also attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mr Nyesom Wike.
Others are the Minister of Sports, Sen. John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, past NBA presidents and other top government officials.