President Bola Tinubu has said that the country can not continue to service external debts with 90% of its revenue, therefore, must make difficult changes that are necessary for it to get up from slumber.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale in a statement quoted Tinubu to have made the statement on Sunday while declaring open the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association at the Velodrome, Chief MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
He said, “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”.
The President noted that the prosperity Nigerians require would only happen once poverty is banished from the society with the focused cooperation of Nigeria’s private sector leaders, many of whom were present at the opening ceremony.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,” the President stated that hard decisions must be made to set the country on a growth trajectory, despite the initial pains that meaningful reforms usually bring.
“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 affirmed.
While energizing the gathering of 16,190 lawyers in attendance, Tinubu renewed his commitment to deal conclusively with the pressing issue of remuneration for judicial officers and legal practitioners, noting 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 mindset. We accuse our nation and its previous leaders. We complain a lot about 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,” the President exclaimed.
Referring to the Keynote address delivered by the Chairman of UBA Plc and Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, whom he praised for setting an agenda for economic growth and development, President Tinubu bemoaned the inability of the country to eradicate poverty and tackle poor electricity supply, despite Nigeria’s abundance of gas.
He committed that his administration would ensure that Nigeria generates and distributes the electricity the economy requires to thrive.
“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 an uninterrupted electricity supply. Poverty is not acceptable, and we must banish it,” President Tinubu concluded.
In his welcome address, NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, expressed the confidence of the NBA in the ability of President Bola Tinubu to deliver good governance to Nigeria because of his pedigree and past track record of excellent performance in Lagos State, where he was the governor between 1999-2007.
“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”, he said.
The conference was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi; Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike; Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, past NBA Presidents and many senior government officials.