The Chairman of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) for this year’s Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference (NBA-AGC), Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe has shed more light on the theme of the conference titled “Bold Transitions.”

Speaking at a World Press Conference to herald the AGC, Erojikwe said: “The key word in the theme for this year’s conference was picked very deliberately. Interestingly, it is the word that we want people to pay attention to.

“In the last two conferences, we have had themes like ‘Facing the future’, and ‘Taking the lead.’ However, the word ‘BOLD’ is key and the word ‘transition’ is also very important because it is happening everyday .

“I think the analogy is that if someone goes to sleep five years from today and wakes up, he will meet a completely different world; it is happening at a pace that is unimaginable.

“So, one of the things that led us to the choice of the 2022 theme are some of the things the president brought in during his tenure – like digitizing the NBA and making us more adept to the use of technology.

“For instance, payment of bar practising fees, payment for conferences and all, are now done electronically. And we saw the challenges that our members face in trying to keep up with this pace of advancement despite the convenience of using new ideas and technology.

“It became clear that these transitions are things we face everyday and we are not adapting to them as quickly as possible. That is it about the adjective ‘BOLD.’

“It is telling our people that this is how we have to approach it, that boldness is a catalyst for the type of change that we must face – and we must confront it boldly.” 

The TCCP Chairman observed that the legal profession has led change anywhere in the world, adding that it is a fresh call “to take the bull by the horns”

He noted that every activity at the conference “will have a BOLD imprint.”

The Chairman said that the choice of Eko Atlantic City as venue for the conference, even though still under construction, “is a BOLD choice in many respects.”

According to Erojikwe, the TCCP picked Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as a Keynote Speaker, adding that it is a BOLD choice as she is one of the leading African icons in the world.

He said that to partner the discussion on Technology, “We chose to partner with META which is also a very bold choice, as Meta is one of the transformational companies you can get in the world. They are the owners of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. So it cannot come better than that.”

According to the TCCP Chairman, one of the sessions at the conference involves the presidential candidates for the 2023 elections who have been invited to tell the legal community and Nigerians what their plans are.

His words: “So that’s how far as it goes; every bit of the conference is bold. 

“So, for example, after the keynote address which will take place on the Monday 22, August, we are going to have ‘Democratic Transitions in Nigeria: Focus on 2023 and beyond.’

“Everyone knows that oil and gas has been the main stay of Nigeria’s economy since 1973, so we are inviting the sub-nationals across the geographical zones in Nigeria to come and tell us what their plans for the future are and also get people from the Central Bank and economists to interrogate what is happening and where we need to get to.

“On that day of the conference, and for the first time in the history of the NBA, we will be having the current president of the NBA, the incoming NBA president and the last two predecessors-in-office join them on stage to talk to members of the NBA about the NBA.

“Indeed, it will be an interrogation of the performance of the current NBA President. We will have an opportunity to tell him what we think he got wrong and we expect that people will speak up – and then, of course, tell him what we also think he got right.

“But most importantly, it is to afford the incoming president an opportunity to outline his direction for the NBA and also give us an opportunity to tell him whether we think that is the direction he should be going.”

Erojikwe stated that the NBA Access to Finance scheme “is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and a remarkable initiative of the NBA President,” adding that NBA is interested in knowing if lawyers are able to access the funds as well as the challenges being faced.

He stated that the NBA Remuneration Report will be interrogated by the audience to provide insights for its implementation by NBA-NEC.

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