The “Unusual” NBA Annual General Conference – Muritala Abdul-Rasheed, Esq


In continuation of a tradition of excellence, all is now set for the 57th edition of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference (AGC) holding in Lagos from the 18th to 24th of August 2017.

Keeping with its vision to reinvent the NBA into a Brave New Bar driven by the passion, knowledge and skills of its members as a veritable agent for national transformation, the NBA under the visionary leadership of Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud OON; SAN has gone to great lengths to introduce transformational innovations which are set to change the dynamics of bar conferences in Africa.

The conference which has as its theme “African Business: Penetrating through Institution Building” will attract a host of outstanding speakers, thinkers, global influencers and experts who are pioneering this century’s most important ideas and innovations in their respective fields of endeavour.

Harnessed from government, businesses, professional services, and the academia, these speakers will at the conference moderate sessions, discuss leading edge topics and project the conference theme to conferees with a view to accelerating economic development and social justice in Africa and repositioning the critical role of the bar in economic and social development by building institutions as units of stability, encouraging rule of law, and good governance.
Conferees at the 2017 Annual General Conference will be spoilt for choice and can focus on diverse areas of interest, as the gathering will feature about 31 sessions, which will vary widely in style and cover most sectors and practice areas.
Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN; GCON, will be declaring the conference open as well as lead talks with other heavyweights such as the former Prime Minister of the state of Georgia, Nika Gilauri; MD, Goldman Sachs Africa, Colin Coleman; Global CEO Consultant, Ram Charan; Nigeria’s and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and many more.
Other distinguished speakers and panelists include Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Honourable Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; Finance Minister of Ghana, Ken Ofori-Atta; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, CON; Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Gloria Afua-Akuffo and AMCON CEO, Ahmed Lawan Kuru.
Representatives of the global legal community including the International Bar Association (IBA), International Trademark Association (INTA), The Law Society of England and Wales, the International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA) will also be at the conference.
The Resource persons will also include the Head of Branding Consultancy in South Africa, Presidents of Ghanian, Zambian and Kenyan Bars, representatives of leading law firms in Ivory Coast and Cameroon, Professors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T), Princeton University, and former INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega amongst others.In all,150 Speakers have confirmed their attendance, 40 of whom are from abroad.
Expounding the NBA leadership’s hallmark tradition of excellence, Chairman of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) Professor Koyinsola Ajayi SAN declared recently, that the NBA 2017 AGC conference will change the face of legal practice in Nigeria and provide a level playing ground for all lawyers, irrespective of their area or location of practise.

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In this year’s edition of the General Conference, innovations such as online registration for the conference and digital access into the conference venue have replaced manual processes and paper registration, creating room for simple and seamless accreditation.
In addition, telecommunications services provider, Airtel Networks Limited and electronic law report providers, LegalPedia and LawBreed have partnered with the TCCP to procure and issue conferees electronic tablets for conference materials instead of conference bags and paper documents they were erstwhile accustomed to.
Collection of the tablets commenced last Sunday at designated pick-up locations in conferees’ respective states and cities .
Registrants can expect to enjoy durability, functionality and depth in the electronic tablets, as each will provide all information and materials for the conference and will also feature a 12 month free subscription to full Law Reports of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, National Industrial Court, all State High Courts, the Federal High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal, Sharia Courts, Rules of all the courts in Nigeria, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) and an array of Commercial Forms and Precedents.
The Electronic Tablets is pre-installed with psychometric tests, provided by Thomas International in partnership with Phillips Consulting Limited (PCL).

It is beyond argument that the practice of the legal profession takes a heavy toll on the health of practitioners and so we need to pay particular attention to maintaining our health.
With this in mind, the TCCP has also partnered with leading healthcare service provider, Tristate Cardiovascular Associates Limited, to bring conferees, free daily comprehensive health screening services, health counselling, and other discounted fee-for service tests, during the period of the conference.

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The free health counselling and screening services include Body Mass Index (BMI), Urinalysis, Blood glucose and Blood Pressure, Full Cardiac investigations [General and Cardiac Consultations]; Sleep Disorder Clinic; Laboratory investigations and Pharmacy services.

For the duration of the conference, Tristate will have its emergency station on site and would attend to incidences that require urgent attention including Cardiac Arrest, Seizure, Anaphylactic shock, Food poisoning, Superficial wound, Lacerations requiring minor suturing, Asthma attack/severe wheezing, Hypoglycaemic coma, Fainting (vaso-vagal) and Cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

The AB Mahmoud, OON, SAN, administration recognizes that mentoring, professional development and other types of career support for young lawyers, are far more crucial now than ever before. It has therefore created an opportunity for them to attend the 2017 Annual General Conference by sponsoring 100 young lawyers.

In consonance with the present realities, discussions on institution building and acceleration of economic development and social justice in Africa will characterise this year’s conference.

In many African countries, the institutions of democratic governance are weak and the culture of accountability is still in its embryonic stage. Human rights are respected more in the breach, and adherence to the principles of rule of law is not commonplace in many developing African countries.

The sessions of the conference hope to address these issues through exciting discussions and debates on legal, political, economic, social reforms and development and will also focus on institution building as a panacea for most of Africa’s challenges.

The 2017 Annual General Conference stands to promote networking, collaboration of local and international stakeholders with a view to building synergies and sharing experiences. It will also promote good relations and social intercourse amongst lawyers and other persons who are also interested in the justice sector and administration of justice.

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