Issues bothering on governance and the economy would be the focal point as both national and international delegates converge in Abuja on December 4, 2018, for the maiden edition of the Justice Oputa Annual Conference.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Justice Oputa Foundation, Barrister George Oputa, during a press briefing recently in Abuja.
The Sight News gathered, that the Foundation was established in 2010 and registered as a non-profit and non-governmental association in honour of one of Nigeria’s most distinguished legal minds, the late Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa.
“The Justice Oputa Foundation was established to advance and apply knowledge germane to the legal profession, commerce and industry and the public sector through the development, conduct and dissemination of both fundamental and applied research in the areas of governance, law and development”, said Oputa
While expressing concern over the level of governance across board in the country as well as the wobbling nature of the economy, Oputa pointed out that the annual conference will draw the attention of a wide spectrum of Nigerian and African audience on the necessity for, and insistence on, good governance for the promotion of accountability, transparency, efficiency and rule of law at all levels.
He stressed that it will also allow for efficient management of human, natural, economic and financial resources for equitable and sustainable development, and guaranteeing civil society participation in the decision-making processes.
Furthermore, he said the conference will outline how to achieve sustainable development goals by ensuring Nigerian public services and industry apply sustainable development principles to function more efficiently in regard to service delivery, to achieve the desired growth in the match to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to him, “All around the world today – even in oil producing nations like ours – policy makers are brainstorming and devising strategies to diversify economies away from dependence on oil.
“Around the world also, countries have set dates in which cars produced would no longer use fossil fuel, as environmental friendliness is gaining grounds due to heightened enlightenment about global warming.
“The dates set ranges between 10 to 30 years from now. We can therefore not sit down, or rest on our oars, waiting for the day of calamity to arrive; we must act. And act we intend to do at the JOAC”, he remarked.
He further added that the conference is expected to help the larger Nigerian nation have a shared understanding that good governance starts with getting the right people in positions starting from the approaching 2019 elections- leadership to be defined by character, competence and capacity.
“Good governance should be reflected in appointments and employments into, or reorientation of the public service, to a great extent, in sync with global best practice.
“That good governance is impeded when the character, capacity or competence of prospective elective office holders are questionable”, he stated.
The conference is expected to develop a framework for inserting sustainability and highlight the linkages between politics (formal and informal political arrangements and power structures), policies (objectives and goals) and administrative capabilities (the public bureaucracy) as the basis for a pragmatic incremental approach to public service reform and modernization to be more responsive to citizens.
Also, the conference in partnership with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is further expected to ultimately bring forth practical, evidence-based ideas, knowledge and resources to help policy makers and industry to deliver on promises for growth and prosperity for all.
He mentioned that to assist the foundation in achieving its noble objectives, two eminent Nigerians, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Obi of Onitsha HRM Nnaemeka Alfred Nnanyelugo Achebe would be serving as honorary patrons.
Other eminent Nigerians like: Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte CON; JSC.(rtd), Bishop Hassan Kukah; Senator Ben Obi; Prof. Charles Dokubo, Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta; Mr Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme and other credible Nigerians would serve as members of the board of trustees.
The maiden edition of the conference is in partnership with Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), and Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).