How I saved Nigeria from total collapse — Malami
THE Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that his ministry has played a critical role in rescuing the nation’s economy from total collapse.
Malami also said the ministry has also aided the fight against the twin malaise of insecurity and corruption.
The minister stated this at a retreat organised for the top management of the Federal Ministry of Justice with the theme: ‘Enhancing systems and structures in the Federal Ministry of Justice for effective justice sector service delivery,’ held in Kano.
He explained that the Federal Ministry of Justice “is cardinal to the agenda of the government to build a strong and diversified economy, improve infrastructure and combat the twin malaise of corruption and insecurity. Our duties as State Counsel or administrators are an amalgamation of law and policy.
“We must therefore be conscious of the critical role the ministry plays in the overall developmental agenda of the country. Indeed, the relevance of the rule of law to holistic development in any society can never be overemphasised.
“As a practical demonstration of how your services in the ministry impact all areas of national development, I wish to refer you to a few examples.” Malami explained.
On the economic front, the attorney-general explained how the ministry had been able to: save the country’s domestic economy from total collapse which would have been brought about if P&ID had succeeded in enforcing an arbitral award of over $10 billion.
“We have also ensured the restoration of our country to the path of growth and development through the settlement of the multi-billion-dollar adverse claims on the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
“Our asset recovery drive has secured the sum of $322 million which enabled the federal government to embark on empowerment programs which have taken over 100 million persons out of poverty as part of the national social investment programs.
“Similarly, the sum of $311million recovered funds were deployed into critical infrastructure projects such as the Abuja-Kano and Lagos-Ibadan expressways as well as the Second Niger Bridge.
“On the security front, we have provided support for addressing security challenges (through the proscription of terrorist groups) so as to pave way for legitimate military onslaught and deployment of military hardware, prosecute and defend high-profile cases involving insurgent or separatist groups, terrorism financiers, among others.
“It is common knowledge that a safe and secure environment is required for economic development. Therefore, our legal interventions for the advancement of appropriate security measures invariably represent our contribution to providing an enabling environment for economic development in the country.
“From the foregoing, you will all agree with me that there is no doubt that there is a relationship between law and development, whereby law is seen as a standard/framework for achieving and measuring development.
“There are mechanisms or indexes for gauging the impact of the rule of law on governance and development globally, which are also applicable to Nigeria.
“In order to develop a strategic blueprint to guide our policies and actions as a Ministry, we need to be guided by the overall national development agenda and other policies aimed at driving sustainable economic growth and development,” the attorney-general said.
Consequently, he explained that all government strategies and policies “are expected to be structured in a manner as to meet key aspirations for national development. These include the National Development Plan 2021-2025, Federal Civil Service Strategy, and Implementation Plan 2021–2025 (FCSSIP25), Ministerial Deliverables and the National Policy on Justice.
“The National Development Plan (NDP), 2021 – 2025, is a medium-term blueprint designed to unlock the country’s potential in all sectors of the economy for sustainable, holistic, and inclusive national development.
“It is pertinent for me to state also that at the heart of our reform agenda in the justice sector is the National Policy on Justice, 2017. The National Policy of Justice identifies the root causes of the failures and inadequacies of the justice system and its adverse impact on the nation. It seeks to consolidate on various reform efforts and achieve inter-agency (institutional) cooperation and coordination.
“My expectation is that at the conclusion of this retreat, there should be a consensus around developing a strategic plan for the Ministry, inspired by the policies which I have just highlighted; to guide our activities and programmes going forward. I look forward to a successful retreat, which would midwife the development of a strategic blueprint, which would guide our collective actions in the short to medium term.
“This management retreat affords us the opportunity for review and self-assessment of our achievements so far, identify the challenges and areas requiring revitalization, and then come up with innovative ideas to enhance our capacities to more efficiently and effectively achieve our institutional mandate,” Malami stated.
Declaring open the event, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje represented by his Deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna described the theme and retreat as timely in the face of the numerous challenges bedevilling the administration of Justice and also enable the top management to explore appropriate mechanism which will guide them in discharging.