I have always had my disdain and contempt about some policies of the Nigerian Bar Association. I see it more of an elitist Organization run and enjoyed by a few, who I might say are oblivious to the plight of many. It further pains me when I see young wigs showing enthusiasm in towing some of the paths of these seniors (despite them being victims).
As custom, the yearly NBA conference is ongoing, and amidst the pomp and pageantry I decided to reflect on this crucial and less talked about issue; which is FINANCE.
Now it is to my knowledge that the NBA gets subventions from the federal Government to host this conference, equally the state Governments give subventions to the local NBA branches for the NBA conference. This subventions is aside the money the hosting state i.e. (Imo state is hosting and the governor will drop huge dough for the NBA conference) normally gives to the NBA as chief host. Then comes the private sponsorship from banks, private companies like Globacom, etc. this too runs into millions of Naira. Now after all these, the NBA will then collect registration fees for those that will attend ranging from 10k for the early birds registerees (from 1 to 5 years post call) and N23,000 for those that fall within the 1 to 5 years that register late.
And this amount progresses as you advance in your years of practice, so some will pay N48,000 to even 100k for judges or very senior lawyers like SANs. Now at the end you see that the money realized will be running into billions. Now my question is what is the NBA doing with all that cash and yet a lot of junior lawyers are hustling and suffering? With all these money yet the welfare of the new wigs is the least in their priority of affairs.
I was opportune to attend this year conference at Owerri and really I was miffed. All the hullaballoo over nothing. Now this money tolled by the NBA is just for your writing materials, bag pack, some law handouts and some printed laws. You take care of your hotels, transport etc. even the dinner I heard you have to pay another 5k on top the one paid in other to be eligible to chop!
Trust me, I just bolt am, took the dough and went to ANSU Uli to chow with my younger bro and my guy and we still had change after our good time.
The only thing I gained was the cheap prices of various commodities there, both legal and otherwise, I bought as much as my change could afford. The most prominent of these commodities hawked around by the Aboki”s crawling over the place is the “buran thashi”.
Nwajagu Chisom J