The 2020 NBA Conference

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Recently, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) approved Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as the venue for the 2020 NBA Annual General Conference (NBA-AGC). The body also proposed conference fees for participants based on their years of call. My attention is particularly drawn to the proposed amount to be paid by new wigs. Young wigs (lawyers) are to pay N20,000 for early birds, N45,000 as regular fee and N90,000 for late registration.

For the bourgeoisie or lucky few in this harsh economy, this amount of money is nothing. But for the majority of new wigs, who wear shoes and know where they pinch, it would quickly dawn on us that this could be a brazen systemic seclusion by the NBA from the conference. There is an old cliché that says, if you are not at the table dining, then you are on the menu. Of a profession that offers young wigs peanuts and servile positions, one could quickly feel that even though NBA is supposed to be for all lawyers, but truly, it may not be so in the real sense. Aside the registration fee, the cost of transportation to and from the venue, feeding and accommodation for the whole period of the conference may prevent new lawyers from attending.

Therefore, we call on the NBA National Executive Committee to reduce the said amount for the sake of the new wigs. For the good image of NBA, we urge that the amount be reduced. At least, for the fact that this year’s conference would be a landmark and historic, being the 60th AGC. Any trade or profession that does not strongly put into consideration the well-being of its young members has embarked on a summary retrogressive journey. This is a pathway that NBA should not follow.

Victor Opatola, Abuja