The NBA Calabar law week commenced this week on a healthy note following the public holidays by having members of the branch engaging in a health check, wherein members were given free medical advice on how to eat right and stay healthy, this was followed by a walk held on day two. In recent times, lawyer have increasingly found themselves bedevilled with rising levels of stress and this activity that was used to commence the law week of the calalbar branch served as a counter balance from the normal hustle and bustle of the advocates life in the calabar bar.
Today being the third day of the law week , the opening ceremony was held at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar. The session engaged the minds of the lawyers through a paper presented by the learned silk, Paul Usoro, SAN. He was featured as a speaker who spoke on the topic “Migrating From Crude Oil Dependency To An Agro/Industrialised Economy As A Way Out Of Depression”. In a brief outline, his paper spoke along the outline laid out below:
• Crude Oil Dependency
• Crude Oil Dependency as a Contributory Factor to the 2016 Recession in Nigeria;
• The Need for Diversification
• Agro Industrialised Economy as the way out
• Legal and Regulatory Framework for the Agricultural Sector
• Recommendations and Conclusion
The paper was expansive and his interaction was mind-blowing. He spoke at great length on the urgency that the country needed to take on alternative sources of revenue generation through the diversification of the economy and how lawyers could cash in on such emerging areas.
However, in conclusion the learned silk outlined a roadmap that this writer believed that if the strategists of this country’s economy were to take heed to, the economy of this country could be well under way to a faster recovery span.
For emphasis, he posited that: The Nigerian Agric sector has huge potentials with tremendous
• For Nigeria to metamorphose into an agro-industralised economy, the Nigerian Governments should at all levels rigorously push for and apply polices channeled towards improving the focus on agro-industries.
• The Government needs to rehabilitate and revive all agricultural research institutes and schools of agriculture and reintroduce farm settlements and other river basin authorities to encourage massive production of agricultural produce.
• The agricultural sector requires huge investments in improved machinery and technologies to make substantial impact. Most farmers are still making use of crude and un-mechanised methods which yield low productivity.
• Multiple investment opportunities abound and the development policies of international, regional and national DFIs must be harnessed to ensure the whirlpool of these funds are directed towards the development of agro-business in Nigeria.
• Establish and promote an export-oriented agricultural sector with improved quality of produce comparable with average global standards. This will improve foreign exchange earnings.
• Implement policies to attract more foreign direct investment in the sector from foreign partners with the necessary expertise and technological know-how to achieve optimal production capacity.
• The drive for achieving an agro-industrialised economy must be complemented with improvement of rural and other basic infrastructure which are critical to agricultural transformation and establishment of a seamless value chain like rural electrification, road and rail for transportation of agriculture produced and processed/finished good, for export and domestic use alike.
In conclusion, he applauded the NBA Calabar Branch by stating that the Calabar bar had done well focusing on untapped areas of the Nigerian economy that had been discussed at the session. He concluded by stating that what was now required is consistent focus on the highlighted areas and the different strands thereof, particularly as it relates to our practice of law in order for lawyers to adequately position themselves with the right set of skills to usher in this new era of practice and economic revamp.