NBA PRESIDENT ENGAGES WITH SENIOR ADVOCATES ON REFORM INITIATIVES FOR THE NIGERIAN LEGAL PROFESSION
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud SAN, OON, FCIArb. met with members of the distinguished Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) on Saturday 14 April 2018 at the Conference Hall of the Nigerian Law School (Lagos Campus) to discuss the on-going reform initiatives of the Nigerian Bar Association.
The NBA President attended the BOSAN meeting with the Executive Director of the NBA; Mrs. Ramatu Umar Bako, the Policy and Strategic Planning Adviser to the NBA President; Ms. Zainab Animashaun and a representative of KPMG Advisory Services which was appointed by the NBA in 2017 to conduct a Diagnostic Review of the NBA’s Corporate Governance and Financial Control Processes. The KPMG representative; Ms. Folashade Owoeye, made a presentation of its Report on the NBA, which included detailed findings from the KPMG’s three (3) month internal assessment of the Association and recommendations on the reform of the NBA’s administrative structure.
The NBA President then presented an executive summary of the Nigerian Bar Association’s reform initiatives to BOSAN, in which he explained the context for NBA reforms, provided an overview of the current state of the Nigerian Legal Profession, and expatiated on the NBA Reform Strategy which focuses on the promotion of reforms in four crucial areas: the regulation of the legal profession, representation of NBA members, re-engineering of the NBA's administrative structure, and in public interest interventions by the Nigerian Bar.
The President also highlighted the NBA’s reform initiatives which include: the work of the NBA Legal Profession Regulatory Review Committee (LPRRC) led by Chief Anthony Idigbe SAN, which produced a Report and the draft Legal Profession Regulation Bill 2017; the on-going work of the NBA Constitutional Review Committee led by Mallam Yusuf Ali SAN; the NBA’s Digitisation of Continuing Legal Education Initiative; the Diagnostic Review of the NBA by KPMG Advisory Services; NBA engagements with International Development Partners and Bar Associations; and concluded his presentation with the next steps on the NBA reform process.
The NBA President’s presentation was well received by BOSAN members, who gave a standing ovation to the President for his efforts at reforming the Nigerian Legal Profession, endorsed the Report of KPMG Advisory Services on the Diagnostic Review of the Corporate Governance and Financial Control Processes of the Nigerian Bar Association, and urged the President to ensure that the recommendations proposed by the KPMG in its report were implemented before the completion of the tenure of the current NBA administration. The Body also set up a Committee chaired by Professor Taiwo Osipitan as Chairman and Deacon Dele Adesina as Alternate Chair, which was mandated to review the draft Legal Profession Regulation Bill prepared by the NBA LPRRC and forward its recommendations on the Bill to the NBA for its harmonisation into the final draft Bill, which is due to be presented to the Senate on May 1, 2018.
The NBA President thanked the BOSAN members for their support to the NBA on its reform initiatives and charged the BOSAN and its members to reinstate themselves into their position of leadership of the Nigerian legal profession, by becoming champions and advocates of the NBA reforms, in order to ensure that the profession is rescued from its current state of decline.
The NBA President’s presentation to the BOSAN is part of the stakeholder engagement plan on the NBA reform initiatives by the current leadership of the Association, that aims to ensure all relevant stakeholders which include; the Body of Benchers, Bar Leaders Forum, Section on Legal Practice, Section on Business Law, Section on Public Interest and Development Law, Specialised Forums (Young Lawyers Forum, Lawyers in the Media Forum, Military Law Forum, Women in Law Forum, Lawyers in the Legislature Forum, Law Officers Association of Nigeria), Special Interest Lawyer's Groups (Lawyers with Disabilities, Regional Associations, Practice Area Associations, Religious Associations), International Development Partners and International Bar Associations; are duly sensitised and widely consulted on the NBA reforms process.
The NBA President’s Executive Summary and detailed Reports on the on-going NBA reforms are available on the Nigerian Bar Association’s website: http://www.nigerianbar.org.ng/index.php/nba-reform
Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju, Esq.