Corruption war cannot succeed without elites, says Osinbajo
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that the fight against corruption will not be won unless the elite buy into it.
According to him, if the elites accept certain forms of conduct because it comes from people who ‘we know or are our friends, then our society is not going to go anywhere’.
Osinbajo who spoke at the opening ceremony/dinner of the Annual Business Law conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), with the theme: ‘Law reform and economic development’ also regretted that Nigeria is rated very low by the World Bank among countries where business can be done easily.
But Osinbajo said the Federal Government has set up the ‘Ease of Doing Business Council’, which will bring together the public and private sectors to explore ways of easing the business process.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), represented by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, said there was a nexus between law reform and economic development.
According to him, law reform is needed to create a new society, adding that the challenge of “unsuitable laws” must be addressed.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who was also a guest speaker, said that fuel importation will end by 2019.
He said it requires $50billion dollars to fill the infrastructural gap in the industry and get it functioning optimally and by 2019, Nigeria expects to become a net exporter of refined products.
NBA president, Augustine Alegeh (SAN), regretted that for 14 years, Nigeria had been struggling to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). He said if passed, the bill would enhance the country’s economic fortunes.
Also, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, led discussions around issues surrounding economic management, saying there was the need to strengthen the legal framework to support economic management.
Her counterpart in the ministry of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi bemoaned challenges faced by solid minerals industry, saying: “Nigeria is not seen by the international community as a mining destination and ongoing reforms in the sector would take time to bear fruit as mining is a long-term sector and requires a lot of investment”.
SBL chairman, Asue Ighodalo stressed the need to revitalised ‘vital institutions’ to put the country on the path of development, while Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) harped on the need to diversify and develop the economy and steer it away from sole reliance on oil revenue.
Former Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr Olasupo Shasore (SAN), said low domestic and foreign investment leads to low project funding of the solid mineral sector.
Former All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate in Abia State, Dr Alex Otti also advocated a reduction in the number of National Assembly members. According to him, Nigeria does not need the large number of lawmakers it currently has.
Prof. Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) and Dr Gbolahan Elias (SAN) called for the amendment and reform of the Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) respectively.
Others present at the event include Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, former power minister, Dr Lanre Babalola, former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) and former NBA president, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).