Distinguished Colleagues,
As we join the rest of the world in marking the 2023 International Worker’s Day, we are reminded that Nigerian workers – not oil, gold, or other natural resources – are our greatest resource. I salute the resilience and steadfastness of Nigerian workers who, despite our national challenges, continue to keep the wheels of the country turning. I celebrate them today, both those in the public and private sectors. I also commend the Self-Employed, Sole Proprietors and Entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and resourcefulness create employment opportunities despite current economic challenges.
Now more than ever before, deliberate steps must be taken to safeguard the socio- economic rights of workers. At the inaugural NBA State of the Nation Dialogue held on the 30 January 2023, which dwelt on the thematic areas of Security, Economy and the Judiciary, Discussants identified economic recession as a major factor in the insecurity, brain-drain, high levels of unemployment and underdevelopment. These symptoms can only be treated by addressing the root causes, implementing worker- friendly policies as opposed to superficial interventions.
I therefore call on the incoming administrations at Federal and State Government levels to initiate, reinvigorate and focus on policies that promote inclusiveness, protect SMSEs, grow the middleclass and prioritize infrastructural development. The Federal Government must take special care not to subject Nigerians to the harsh repercussions of hasty and untested policies. With the right tools and incentives, Nigeria will take its rightful place in the comity of nations. In addition to the foregoing, there must be increased accountability on subsidy spendings. The misappropriation and circumvention of monies earmarked for subsidies, especially petrol subsidy, must be treated as economic sabotage and those found culpable must be prosecuted.

Within the legal profession, we are working to resolve the perennial challenge of employee-remuneration through the recommendations of the NBA Remuneration Committee. The proposed measures will bring respite to and improve the quality of living of our Colleagues.
The NBA Employment Bureau created by the current administration to serve as an interface in bridging the supply gap of legal personnel in both the public and private

sectors, has been engaging with various stakeholders in line with its mandate. I urge our colleagues to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the Bureau.
The NBA will continue to champion the continuous professional development of members of the Bar, ensuring that members of the legal profession are equipped with the skills to thrive not only in Africa but also in the global market, realizing that our competitors are no longer those within our immediate environment, but are rather spread across the globe.
I wish all workers in Nigeria and abroad, particularly members of the legal profession, a Happy Workers’ Day.
Long live the Nigerian Workers!
Long live the Nigerian Bar Association!! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!


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