In the March towards the change in guard at the NBA, the contenders have at various fora aired their views on how they would see to the uplifting of the bar through various well thought out means. However, one of our reporters was opportuned to have picked up a few points from one of the front row contenders, Paul USORO, SAN at a function where he was engaged by a host of young lawyers who sought to draw some wisdom from him.

Thus on the issue of reform, he had these few words to say.

“When I talk about structural reforms in NBA, I am actually thinking of refocusing the Association away from current emphasis on appointments and perks and focusing us more on professional growth, deepening our practice and creating wealth for lawyers.

Of course, there would still be appointments particularly for the expanded Sections and the Committees under those sections, whose primary focus would be on professional growth and development for lawyers. There would also be those other statutory appointments (NJC, FJSC etc) which are the responsibility of the NBA President. No doubt, some quarters have historically been shortchanged in these appointments and they too have eminently qualified persons who can occupy these positions and acquit themselves very well. I’ll address this imbalance and source for qualified and dedicated persons from every geo-political zone of Nigeria.

“I believe if we institute good accounting policies and practices in the NBA, we’ll manage ourselves much better and provide affordable services to members including but not limited to Annual General Conferences & the fees therefore.

Currently, I believe there exists some level of inefficiency in the system which results in much higher cost to members. I would champion the engagement of a qualified and experienced Chartered Accountant as the NBA Chief Financial Officer & properly organize and staff the NBA Finance Section. I’ll also ensure transparency in our financial reporting systems and budgeting. With these steps, I am certain we’ll be able to better manage our costs and provide affordable services to members. I’ll also use my corporate relationships to raise funds for the Association and in the process subsidize services (including AGC fees) for members.

“Actually, the yearly seal helps in checking quacks in the profession and also flushing out those who have been disbarred or suspended for a period. Without the yearly stamp, such persons would continue to use their permanent stamps without let or hindrance and, knowing how ineffective our law enforcement is, they might even escape detection. The annual verification process for issuance of the stamp helps to weed out these unsavoury elements in practice.

The late issuance of the stamp I believe is an administrative glitch that ought to be and can be eliminated and I would work on this as NBA President.”

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