A demand for immediate reform of the justice system in Nigeria has been issued by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), expressing concern over the continued low levels of public trust in the judiciary. In a statement released to commemorate the end of its 63rd Annual General Conference (AGC), the legal group sought an upward evaluation of the pay given to judges throughout the federation. It was suggested that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, be exempted from overseeing matters pertaining to the compensation of judicial officers, as well as their separation from the public sector.
The conference suggested a separate pay scale for judicial officials as well. The NBA National President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, issued a statement to the media in which the organisation voiced its support for immediate action to address the predicament of magistrates and other judges in lower courts. The country’s largest association of legal professionals, the NBA, reported that the conference also agreed that the nation’s justice system needs a complete overhaul, from law enforcement strategies to court procedures to bail to prison conditions.
Implementation of the ideal justice system is a long process.
In addition, it was said that there was a demand for adherence to judicial decisions, the acceptance and incorporation of technical improvements for the judiciary, and the promotion of improved ties between each branch of the government. Implementing the ideal justice system will be a long process rather than a single event. In spite of this, change needs to be sped up in order to meet the aspirations of Nigerians, particularly those of the most impoverished and vulnerable populations. Such a transformation requires meticulous planning and administration in order to be successful.
Concerning the economy, the NBA stated that it observed that the nation’s economic potential had been confined by many structural issues, such as insufficient infrastructure, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, basic difficulties to investment, unsure policies by the government, and the inability of previous administrations to take the needed bold steps to achieve sustained economic growth. It also voiced its displeasure with the paradoxical scenario of Nigeria’s natural wealth being underutilised, preventing the country from achieving its potential in industrialisation.
Despite the country’s resources, there is minimal progress.
Even though there are significant gas reserves, the country is unable to use them to generate enough electricity through gas exploration. The conference acknowledged Nigeria potential, highlighting the country’s mineral diversity and human resources. The necessity for strong, long-term economic decisions to revitalise the economy has been motivated by difficulties such as power outages, oil theft, kidnapping, instability, and divisions among citizens. For Nigerian economy to flourish, the conference recommended, broad-based growth must be sustained, and poverty must be reduced.
Also, the conference specifically urged the Federal and State governments to refocus their efforts on the development of infrastructure, improve power production, increase agricultural productivity, and expand job opportunities in rural areas. Additionally, there must be a greater emphasis on employment prospects for young people by way of educational opportunities and training for entrepreneurial abilities. While lamenting the growing incidence of insecurity in the country, they recognised the need for increased investment in the Military.
Security concerns of the nation must be addressed.
Lastly, recommendations for actionable methods to address security concerns were made. These include increased community involvement in policing, increased youth engagement through the provision of jobs, enhanced regional collaboration, media sensitisation, thorough police reforms, regulation of religious schools, strengthened judicial institutions, and observance of human rights. The establishment of state security forces, the prudent administration of land, the procurement of international resources, and the methodical execution of plans that have been approved were also proposed.