Yesterday, Friday the 7th of July, 2023 was the second day for engaging sessions of the Annual International Business Law Conference. The event which was held at Eko Hotels & Suits, Victoria Island, Lagos, started on a slightly different note. It offered diverse and insightful discussions on topics ranging from mining and agriculture to creative rights and legal practice management.
The first programme of events were the Breakout Sessions which occurred simultaneously in two different halls. The first session held in Hall 1 was on ‘Harnessing investment Opportunities in Nigeria’s Mining Sector- A case Study of the Segilola Gold Project’. Mr. Ola Alokolaro moderated the four-man panel on the insightful discussion regarding the Nigerian mining sector, with Mr. Segun Lawson, Managing Director/CEO SROL; relating the growing success of Thor Incorporations in the Segilola Gold Project. The other members of the discussion panel gave insights of the future trajectory of the mining in Nigeria.
In Hall 2, the second break out session was on ‘The Imperatives of Creative Rights in a Digitalised Industry with a Global Outlook’. The discussion of the five-man panel was moderated by Mr. Paul Okuego, President/Founder, Chocolate City Group. The panel inclusive of Mr. Jude Abaga (MI), CEO, Incredible Music, discussed the impact of AI in the creative industry and how the industry is one of Nigeria’s largest employer of labour.
At the end of the first and second breakout session, the third and fourth breakout session commenced. In Hall 2, the third session on ‘Challenges to Agricultural Development in Nigeria: Technology and Policy Solutions’. Meanwhile, the fourth session in Hall 1 was on ‘Energy Transition and ESG: The Pathway to Energy Security and Sustainability in Nigeria’
The last breakout sessions followed immediately. The fifth session was on ‘Forging a Path to Effective Commercial Dispute Resolution in Africa: Exploring the Need for an African Arbitration Centre’. And the sixth session was on ‘The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Emerging Trends and Challenges’.
Thereafter, attendees had tea break and lunch before the Plenary Sessions nine and ten started. The first Plenary Session for the day which is the ninth Plenary Session of the conference, was on ‘Harnessing the Economic Potentials of AfCFTA in Nigeria, Regulatory and Institutional Frameworks Required for Implementation’. This session was moderated by Mr. Soji Awogbade, Partner, Aelex. The four-man panel discussed the acceptance of the Protocol, the fact that more countries in Africa has decided to ratify making it the fastest instrument to be ratified in the African Union, and the slowness in implementing the obligations of the AfCFTA among countries.
Plenary session ten was on ‘Legal Practice Management Series III: Challengers or Upstarts?’. The panel for this session included Mrs. Soibi Ovia, Partner DOA Legal; Ms. Modupe Odele, Partner Vazi Legal; Mrs. Fawehinmi Oyinkansola, Rep. Voza; Mrs. Amara Inegbenoise, Partner Noise & Blue; and Ms. Inemesit Dike, CEO, The Legal Concierge. The all women panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Ayuli Jemide, Lead Partner, Details Commercial Solicitors. Each member of the panel discussed how they started their law practice and what encouraged them to the kind of practice they do and the services they render to their various clients.
At the end of the Plenary Sessions, there was a debate amongst junior lawyers. The topics of the debate was: ‘The Future of Work: Does Remote Work Reduce or Increase Productivity?’ and ‘Lawyers Working with AI Will Replace Lawyers Who do Not Work With AI: True or False?’. In both topics of the debate, team 1 who were called “Oti Sumi Esquire” emerged as the winners via votes of the conference delegates.
Thereafter, the Tare Yeri Prize and SBL Award for Selfless Service was given to Damola Awobokun posthumously for her contributions and commitment to the NBA/SBL before her untimely demise. The siblings of the late Mrs. Awobokun represented the members of her family to receive the award and gave a short speech about the wonderful life their sister lived.
The 17th Annual International Business Law Conference officially came to an end with a vote of thanks and closing remarks by Ayoyinka Olajide-Awosedo, the Chair of the SBL Conference Planning Committee. This was followed with a photo session of the entire SBL Council Members and the Conference Planning Committee Executive Members. To round it up, an after party was held at The Good Beach, where delegates celebrated the success of this years’ conference.
Below are some pictures of the event.