The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has expressed dissatisfaction towards the present state of Nigerian economy, as it called on experts within and outside Nigeria to work together to savage the nation from perennial hardship.
It said that all hands must be on deck to revive the ailing economy before the country can move forward.
The spokesman of the association, Barrister Oladejo Lamikanra, SAN, speaking in Abuja said NBA is planning to engage experts, both lawyers and non-lawyers on a serious national and international campaign targeted at restoring the economy.
He said lawyers had decided not to sit down and fold their arms while workers continued to lose their purchasing powers. He said the umbrella body of lawyers had, therefore, decided to examine some of the critical economic issues facing the country.
In his words, “This is why we have chosen as our central theme for our national conference, ‘Democracy and Economic Development.’ “We want to discuss the economy in the context of democracy. How can democracy make the economy grow better? The economy is quite challenging at present. There is concern on how democracy constitutes a heavy burden on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We want to explore how democracy can be used to further grow the economy. The average Nigerian is feeling the pinch, he is feeling the crunch. We have been dependent on oil alone. How do we diversify? The practice of democracy should improve the economy. Democracy and economy are not mutually exclusive.
“We want to see the economy grow. We want to see Nigerians live better. That informs our choice of the theme. How can we make sure our economy sustains our population growth? We need actions now.”
Lamikanra, who is the Alternate Chair, NBA technical committee on conference planning, said that this 2016 edition to be held in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State between August 19 and 26, would examine how institutions could foster economic growth in a democracy, emphasizing that over 13,000 lawyers from different parts of the world have identified their interest for the NBA Economy Convention which promises to feature Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.
NBA said: “What informed the conference theme is that there are more economic challenges in the country today than last year. “The conference will address, among others, how democracy can deliver on an improved management of our economic affairs.”