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Olisa Agbakoba, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has said “the non-performing government we have” in the country cannot attract foreign direct investment.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing annual general conference of the NBA in Lagos, he blamed inept leadership for country’s underdevelopment.
He described the country’s poor leaders as the “central challenge” facing Nigeria.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said lawyers have a huge role to play in getting public officials to carry out their responsibilities while urging his colleagues to “put pressure on government”.
“Despite all of the resources allocated to power, we don’t have power. As I stand before you, I run about 10 generators in various offices,” The Nation quoted him as saying.
“The vice president spoke very eloquently but in real terms, we as lawyers are responsible in the context that we must put pressure on government.
“No one is going to come here on foreign direct investment with the kind of, for want of a better word, non-performing government that we have. It’s not possible.
“Despite the huge market – 200 million Nigerians – we are very poor. So, sometimes we sit here in fancy suits; but go out to the streets.
“I am a maritime lawyer in Apapa district. The Apapa district contributes 30 per cent of Nigeria’s national budget. Yet it takes three hours for me to get to work because trucks and tankers have blocked the entire place.
“So, let’s not pretend. We must look for leadership. And I think that is the central challenge.”