Paul Usoro Institutionalizes Transparency and Accountability in NBA; Presents 2018/2019 Q3 Financial Statement.

NBA President Paul Usoro SAN

The Paul Usoro SAN led Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has published the 2018/2019 Q3 Financial Statement of the Association in line with its effort towards institutionalizing the basic principles of governance, transparency and accountability in the NBA body politic and promoting efficiency and transparent conduct in the affairs of the association.

Below is Mr. Usoro SAN’s note explaining the attached financial statement.

  1. In keeping with our commitment to promote and entrench transparency and accountability in the management of the NBA’s finances, we are delighted to publish hereby and with this Statement the NBA 2018/2019 Quarter 3 Financial Statement (“FS”) covering the period February 2019 to April 2019. The Q3 FS was presented to the National Executive Committee (“NEC”) at its meeting that was held on 20 June 2019 and was adopted and duly approved by NEC.
  1. Similar to what we did in respect of the previous Financial Statements, perhaps I need to highlight a few areas in the 2018/2019 Q3 FS for the benefit of our Members, viz:
  • The FS shows Cash and Cash equivalent position of N854,759,611.00 as at 30 April 2019 (see page 4 of the FS), the breakdown of which is provided in Note 5 to the FS at page 8 thereof. [“Cash equivalent” refers to instruments and holdings such as stocks and similar investment instruments that could easily be converted into cash. NBA as at 30 April 2019 however had no such cash equivalent as Note 5 to the FS bears out; what we had were only cash balances in Bank accounts.] Note 5 shows that a large chunk of the Cash – N550,000,000.00 drawn from the Bar Practicing Fee Account – was in fixed deposit investment. The NBA NEC was informed and approved of the investment which attracts 10.5% per annum interest; the said interest amount is paid by the Bank, on a monthly basis into the NBA Admin Account which, as at 30 April 2019 (Q3 ending) had a credit balance of N39,250,816.00 while the Bar Practicing Fee Account had a credit balance of N82,198,295.00. The remainder of the large sums in the NBA Accounts were in dedicated accounts – N87,930,810.00 in the Stamp and Seal Account and N64,990,954.00 in MacArthur Foundation Account – and not accessible to NBA for administrative and/or operational activities.
  • On the liabilities side, the Total Current Liabilities, as at 30 April 2019, according to the FS (see page 4 thereof), was N521,082,675.00. In contemplating this amount, we must draw Members attention to the Caveat that is entered at page 1 of the FS whereat PwC expressly forewarns the NBA of the possibility of a restatement or adjustment of this figure based on fresh information and data which may be unearthed sequel to the preparation of this Financial Statement. In my discussions with PwC, any such Restatement or Adjustment would be reflected in the Q4 2018/2019 Financial Statement which would cover the period May to July 2019. The details of the Current Liabilities are set out in Note 6 of the FS at page 9 thereof. Suffice to state that most of the liabilities were incurred prior to the inauguration of the current administration and 48% of these arose from the 2018 AGC-related expenses. The good news is, we have started the verification and payment of these debts, in a staggered manner that allows for prudent management of the NBA treasury without running into a deficit or being unable to shoulder the Association’s immediate responsibilities.
  • The Statement of Comprehensive Income (at page 5 of the FS) which is a component of the FS shows that the NBA had a total income of N847,103,297 as at Q3 ending. Notes 7 and 8 to the FS at pages 9 to 11 thereof provide the breakdown of this income and show that 99% of the income – N710,974,766.00 – accrued from the payment of Bar Practice Fees by our members – see also the Narrative in the Appendix to the FS at pages 15-16 thereof.
  • The Statement of Comprehensive Income (see page 5 of the FS) also shows that the NBA’s Total Expenditure for Q2 2018/2019 was N243,238,837.00. The details of the expenditure are set out in Notes 9 and 10 of the FS at pages 11 to 14 thereof. Deducting this Total Expenditure (N243,238,837.00) from the NBA’s Gross Income for the Quarter (i.e. N847,103,297.00), leaves the NBA with a Surplus of N603,864,460.00 as at the end of Q3, as shown in the Comprehensive Income Statement. Again, I must highlight the earlier caveat by PwC to the effect that fresh information and data may result in the restatement and/or adjustment of this figure in our Q3 2018/2019 FS. This surplus is less than a drop in the ocean when matched against the NBA’s total current liabilities of N408,861,188 as at Q2 ending. I must also draw members’ attention to the Appendix to the FS which provides further clarity on the expenditure for the Quarter. As stated in Item (vii) of the Appendix under the heading “Refund to MacArthur Foundation”, “there was an increase of total expenditure by N64m, which is the approximate sum of unbudgeted expenses incurred from the Year 1 MacArthur Foundation funds. This has been absorbed by the NBA as directed by NEC at the March 2019 NEC meeting.” The table of the absorbed expenses is provided in the said Item (vii) of the Appendix with the further clarification that “these absorbed expenses have resulted in the increase of these expenses categories”. None of these expenditures, I must mention, was incurred by the present NBA administration.
  1. With the preparation and publication of this Q3 Financial Statement, we have taken one more step towards institutionalizing the basic principles of governance, transparency and accountability in the NBA body politic thereby promoting efficiency and transparent conduct in our affairs and also earning the respect and admiration, not only of our Members but of our global audience. As we mentioned in our Release on the 31 August 2018 FS, “it is our hope that the consistent 2-year practice of what we have just begun – and by God’s Grace, will maintain – would inculcate these practices into the NBA DNA and make them irreversible by succeeding NBA administrations”.

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