• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria can’t become great without reforms – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has said that Nigeria would not become the great country that the citizens and the rest of the world desire it to be, without critical reforms.

“We cannot have the country we desire without the reforms we have initiated.

“Can we continue to service external debts with 90 percent of our revenue? It is a path to destruction. It is not sustainable,” Tinubu said.

The president also noted that Nigeria could not sustain the economic theory of the past that wasted 90 percent of the country’s revenue in servicing external debts, adding that such money could have been used for development.

Tinubu spoke at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, in Abuja.

He added that prosperity could only come when poverty was banished from society with the cooperation of private sector players.

Read also: Tinubu presides over first FEC meeting

“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 put the country on the 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.

Read also: Tinubu under pressure as job-creating sectors struggle

“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,” he said.

Referring to an address by Tony Elumelu, chairman of UBA plc and Heirs Holdings, the president decried the inability of the country to eradicate poverty and tackle poor electricity supply.

He reiterated his administration’s resolve 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.

Yakubu Maikyau, the NBA president, said with Tinubu’s pedigree and track record of performance in Lagos State, where he was the governor between 1999 and 2007, the bar expects him to do even more as president.

“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.”