From the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch) Yemi Akangbe
I hope this finds you well.
I consider it necessary to give periodic update on the Branch’s Welfare support initiative for the members of the Branch who may need support , at this time as a result of the effect of the lockdown brought about bý the COVID 19 pandemic.
You will recall that following the announcement of the lockdown the Branch took a number of steps aimed at ameliorating the effects of the lockdown, as follows:
- EXCO took a decision to accept the humanitarian gesture of Mr Olumide Akpata and Friends , to provide 500 packs of food items, to be delivered to our young lawyers. That process has now been concluded successfully.
- Whilst that was ongoing, we also accepted a kind gesture from Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) to provide 100 packs of food items from Hubmart stores to our young lawyers on the Branch who need assistance. That process too has been concluded successfully.
3.The EXCO also set up its own independent Palliative Support System for the Branch, tagged ” COVID 19 WELFARE PACKAGE”. The idea behind this is to appeal for funds from well meaning members of the Branch, in order to provide succour to deserving young lawyers and vulnerable old lawyers.
The EXCO took the view that feeding will be the most critical need at this time and decided to divide the funds realised into 2 channels.
First is to direct donors to pay directly into an account opened for the Branch with HUBMART STORES and in turn get courier companies to deliver these items in packs containing food items worth N5,000 per pack to members that applied for same. I can confirm to you that as at today, the 21st if April, 2020, 400 packs have been successfully delivered and this process is still on going, as fresh applications are still being processed.
The other channel is to set aside some funds, in order to assist our members at some time, yet to be decided. We will endeavour to ensure that majority of our young lawyers are captured in that process.
With regard to the Hubmart deliveries, I have heard concerns that some of the items delivered were not complete. I have also heard that some members have not received any pack yet, whilst some are claiming that they have received up to 5 different packs as oppossed to 1. For those who have such concerns, i take responsibility for the lapses in the distribution channels and I apologise for the shortcomings. There can never be a perfect system, even with nations with the best welfare system, there are still individuals that take advantage of the system. The EXCO members detailed to collate the lists which had over a thousand applications, worked tirelessly day and night to sift through over 1,000 applications and compiled the list, to ensure that names were not duplicated. I concede that there could have been some error, with the effort put into the task, such error(s) must have been very minimal.
With regard to complaints on missing items in the packs, the EXCO is currently looking into this and will ensure that there is no repeat of such incident.
In order to correct the mistakes of the past and do things better going forward, I have set up an ad hoc Committee called ” The COVID 19 WELFARE PACKAGE COMMITTEE”, for the Branch. This Committee will amongst other things, continue to raise funds for the welfare of our members, administer those funds and ensure that the palliative measures are properly implemented. The Committee consist of the following members;
- Yemi Akangbe chair
- Mrs Abiye Tam George ( Chairperson of the Welfare Committee)
- Mrs Joyce Oduah ( Secretary Welfare Committee)
- Mrs Foluke Akinmoladun (Branch Treasurer)
5.Mrs Chineye Oragwu ( Branch Financial Secretary)
- Mr James Sonde( Branch Publicity Secretary)
- Mrs Gloria Egeonu ( Branch Social Secretary)
- Miss Anthonia Eke ( Branch Welfare Secretary)
- Miss Ifeoma Ben- ( Branch Assistant Secretary) – Secretary -Ad hoc Committee
10.Miss Onye Rumana- (EXCO Member) Asst. Secretary -Ad hoc Committe
- Mr Akor Ocheni ( Member Welfare Committee)
- Miss Sophia Ozogwu.( Member Welfare Committee)
This committee will in due course circulate an up-to- date account of receivables and expenses, as well as other announcements on the way forward.
In the meantime, please be assured of my highest regard and usual courtesies.
I implore you all to continue to stay safe and keep healthy. By the special grace of God, we shall conquer this pandemic.
Chairman, NBA Lagos Branch.