The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has released the schedule of its Annual General Conference to hold from August 19 to 26 in Lagos.
The 2022 conference, themed: “Bold Transitions”, will be held at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, Lagos, with the renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, as the keynote speaker.
The Chairman of the NBA Technical Committee on Conference Planning, TCCP, 2022 Tobenna Erojikwe, said, there would be a total of six plenaries and five groups of breakout sessions over a three-day period spanning August 22 to 24, 2022.
A further breakdown shows that the first breakout session on August 22, will feature the Technology Transitions session on the topic “Towards an Effective Privacy and Data Protection Regime: The Role of the Nigerian Lawyer.”
Other sub-themes in this group are, “AfCFTA: Nigerian Lawyers’ Capacity to Service a Globalised Economy”, which will analyse the changes to international trade in Africa since the signing of the AfCFTA and the expectations associated with operating in a globalised economy, highlight and explain the potential areas of strength and deficiencies for Nigerian lawyers, and proffer actionable plans for remedying the deficiencies.
The first plenary, which comes up on August 22, will have the key presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections speak on the topic, “Democratic Transitions in 21st Century Nigeria: 2023 and Beyond.”
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Underscoring the importance of the Presidential Candidates’ plenary, the TCCP said it would present an opportunity to critically assess Nigeria’s democratic journey since 1999, identify key challenges, which have perennially bedeviled the polity, and evaluate sustainable solutions to these challenges.
“With the poor state of our economy, mounting insecurity, comatose education system, decaying infrastructure, persistent inter-ethnic crises and general high cost of living, the 2023 elections may be a watershed moment for Nigeria.
“This session will provide a platform for the key presidential candidates in the 2023 elections to give insights on their respective roadmaps for addressing Nigeria’s key challenges and leading Nigeria’s next democratic transition,” Erojikwe said.
The second plenary on “Energy Transitions, Revenue Challenges for the Nigerian Federation” will examine the options open to Nigeria in meeting its growing revenue demands, how state governments are dealing with the declining federal allocations and potential alternative options for generating revenue, the global push for energy transition, as well as Nigeria’s preparedness for a future without oil.
This is set against the background of Nigeria’s dwindling revenue amid declining global demand for oil, climate change concerns, perennial challenges of oil theft and vandalism, and a global move away from fossil fuels.
“NBA in Transition: Conversation with the NBA Presidents” will be the focus of the first plenary on August 23. The session will examine how the laudable initiatives of the current NBA administration, which will complete its two-year tenure in office at the conclusion of the 2022 conference, have built on the efforts of previous NBA administrations and the foundation it lays for future administrations.
“It will also examine transition and sustainability of projects executed by successive NBA administrations and identify ways of keeping the NBA responsive to the needs of its members and the society at large,” Erojikwe explained.
The plenary on “Efficient Justice Delivery: A review of the outcomes of the Justice Sector Summit” will build on the outcome of the recent Justice Sector Summit, where solutions were proffered to diverse issues affecting the justice sector via a communiqué issued at the end of the summit.
The session will review the state of implementation of the recommendations of the Justice Sector Summit and identify practical solutions to any impediments to implementing the outcomes of the summit.
The second day, August 23, will have two groups of breakout sessions. The first will tackle topics that include “Building a Respectable Bar: Issues Arising on the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Nigeria”; “The Fit for Purpose Lawyer: Reflections on the State of Legal Education in Nigeria”; “Legal Ethics and Etiquettes: Restoring the Dignity of the Legal Profession in Nigeria”; and Lagos State Govt Showcase Session, while the second will feature “Lawyers’ Earning Capacity: A Discussion on the NBA Remuneration Committee Report”; “Technology and the Law: Creating a Digital NBA”; “Spotlight on Brutality, Abuse of Office and Harassment of Lawyers by Security Agencies”; and “Financing Your Practice as well as the NBA Access to Finance Scheme”.
On August 24, the first plenary, the MacArthur Foundation Session, will focus on “Impact of the ACJA on the Administration of Criminal Justice”.
It will assess the impact of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) in Nigeria since its enactment, undertake a comparative review of changes to the administration of criminal justice in states where the ACJA has been re-enacted and provide recommendations for optimising the provisions of the ACJA.
The plenary on “Health and Wellbeing” will provide tips on how lawyers can achieve a decent work-life balance notwithstanding busy schedules and the demands of their jobs, examine habits, which lawyers ought to inculcate and maintain to stay fit and healthy, while on and off work, and provide useful tips and advice on how lawyers may deal with, or seek help for, depression and mental health challenges.
On August 24, the first group of breakout sessions will involve the different sections of the NBA. The NBA Women Forum session will deal with “Altering the Narrative: The Role of Law and Policy in Positioning Women for Hegemonic Status”; Section on Business Law (SBL) will explore “Building Sustainable Regulatory Institutions”; Section on Legal Practice (SLP) will focus on “Exploring Practical Strategies for Tackling the Problem of Forum-Shopping and Conflicting Court Decisions in Nigeria” while Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) will tackle the topic “Undermining the Judiciary: Implications on the Rule of Law and Justice Administration”.
The last breakout session will feature Young Lawyers’ Forum (Job Fair) and Human Rights Institute, as well as sessions on “Delays in the Administration of Justice: Are Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms the Answer?” and “Lawyers with Disability: Strategies for Achieving Inclusiveness and Equality.”