Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, has called upon President Bola Tinubu to address the challenges posed by Nigeria’s sheer size by granting more autonomy to the individual states to manage their affairs. He expressed confidence that Tinubu’s leadership will bring stability to the economy, citing his effective fiscal and monetary policies as essential tools for relieving Nigerians of their current hardships.
In an exclusive interview with Business Day, the maritime lawyer emphasized the importance of effective leadership in reviving the Nigerian economy. He suggested that Nigerians will soon start experiencing the benefits of Tinubu’s policy initiatives.
Agbakoba stated, “You need to decentralize the judicature. I prefer not to use the term ‘restructure’ because it can be offensive to some regions of Nigeria. To build a successful nation, you must bring all stakeholders together, and the common ground we should all agree on is the need to create more flexibility.”
Drawing an analogy, Agbakoba likened Nigeria to an aircraft in mid-flight, and he believes that the state, rather than any particular leader, should be the primary focus of loyalty. He noted, “My loyalty is to the state, not the president. I am loyal to the person in that position because of the state, because of the office.”
Agbakoba conducted a small test among his constituents, revealing their primary concerns about hunger, inability to pay school fees, and medical expenses. He emphasized the resilience of Nigeria’s informal sector in sustaining the nation, likening the current situation to an aircraft’s climb-out phase, where challenges are being faced en route to a more stable cruising altitude. He expressed optimism about the potential for Nigeria to achieve single-digit interest rates.
Regarding the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Yemi Cardoso, Agbakoba praised them as highly capable individuals in the economic sector who can contribute to stabilizing the economy. He recognized them as “bright” and “good guys” who, once the distractions of the ongoing court case are resolved, can bring strategic thinking to the forefront.
In conclusion, Agbakoba highlighted the importance of addressing Nigeria’s size-related challenges and encouraged collective efforts to enhance the nation’s economic stability.