President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria will not sustain failed economic theory that wasted 90 per cent of revenue in the servicing of external debts that can be used for development.
The president gave the assurance this at the opening of the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association at the Chief MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
Tinubu said that prosperity would only occur once poverty is banished from the society with the cooperation of Nigeria’s private sector leaders.
“Can we continue to service external debts with 90% 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.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,” Tinubu said that decisions must be taken to set the country on a growth path.
“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.
Against the backdrop of the judicial reforms he undertook as Lagos State Governor, Tinubu renewed his commitment to conclude the issue of remuneration for judicial officers and legal practitioners.
He noted that true justice reform must begin with world-class salaries and benefits for legal professionals in Nigeria.
“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.
Referring to an address by the Chairman of UBA Plc and Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu, the president decried the inability of the country to eradicate poverty and tackle poor electricity supply.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria generates and distributes the needed electricity for economic development.
“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.
In his welcome address, NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, expressed the confidence of the body in the ability of the President to deliver good governance to Nigeria.
He said this was because of Tinubu’s pedigree and past track record of excellent performance in Lagos State, where he was the governor between 1999 and 2007.
“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, 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.
Others are the Minister of Sports, Sen. John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, past NBA Presidents and senior government officials.(NAN)