The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch has vowed to boycott the forthcoming Annual General Conference (AGC) of the association unless the fees recently announced for the conference are slashed.

The branch is the latest to add its voice to the growing clamour for the fees to be cut, as many stakeholders view the fees as harsh especially on young lawyers.

CITY LAWYER recalls that young lawyers under the aegis of “Decent Fees” had launched an online petition against the fees approved by the NBA National Executive Council (NBA-NEC) for the forthcoming NBA AGC holding in Lagos between August 23 and 30, 2024. 

The Chairperson of the recently enlarged NBA Annual General Conference Planning Committee (AGCPC) Oyinkan Badejo-Okusanya had presented the proposed AGC rates to NBA-NEC for approval at its meeting in Yola.

But the young lawyers kicked against the rates, saying: “The decision to impose such a hefty fee for attending the NBA conference disproportionately affects young lawyers, many of whom are still establishing themselves in the legal profession and may not have the financial means to afford such an expense. We believe that access to professional development opportunities, such as conferences, should not be restricted by financial barriers.”

Titled “Reduce NBA Conference Fees for Young Lawyers,” the petitioners noted that “As young professionals who are just starting our legal careers, many of us are already grappling with financial challenges, including student loan debt and limited earning potential.”

While the young lawyers argue that AGCPC heaped more burden on them than senior lawyers by the over 600% increase in their fee, others say the parlous economy does not justify the sharp increments.

Many lawyers also took to social media channels to protest the over 600 per cent hike in this year’s AGC fees.

In a resolution at its May Monthly Meeting, NBA Ikeja Branch, popularly called the “Tiger Branch” due to its activist posture, warned that unless the fees are shaved, it would boycott the annual lawyers’ fiesta.

In a statement obtained by CITY LAWYER, its Publicity Secretary Patrick Agboola wrote: “Also, at the May 2024 Branch’s monthly meeting, the Members of NBA Ikeja branch seriously condemned and are totally against the unfair skyrocketed increase of NBA-AGC registration fees of both the early bird and regular categories, and the Branch has resolved that it is necessary that the AGC committee reverse the increase on the NBA-AGC registration fees to the old registration fees for 2023 NBA-AGC 2023 and upon failure to reverse same, the Ikeja Branch of NBA will boycott the NBA-AGC 2024 participation.”


CITY LAWYER recalls that the Early Bird rate for young lawyers during the 2023 AGC was as low as N7,500 for lawyers who met the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements. However, the Early Bird rate for this year’s conference has jumped to N50,000, showing almost 700 per cent hike. Badejo-Okusanya had argued that the increase was due to the current 30 % national inflation rate.

Lawyers of 10-19 years post-call will pay N75,000 as Early Bird rate as against N36,000 last year, indicating about 100% increase, while lawyers of 20 years and above post-call experience enjoy perhaps the most marginal increment of a mere N5,000, paying N100,000 as Early Bird rate as against N95,000 paid last year.

Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Attorneys-General and Benchers will pay N250,000 as Early Bird rate as against N190,000 paid during the 2023 AGC. Magistrates also witnessed a marginal increment of about 25% in their rates from N50,000 to N75,000 while Judges/Khadis will pay N100,000 as against N75,000 paid last year. Virtual attendance was free for young lawyers in 2023 but will cost N5,000 this year.

Below are reasons given by signatories for signing the online petition by young lawyers.

It remains to be seen whether the NBA will effect a downward review of the rates in view of the groundswell of protests against the rates.

Asogwa Ferdinand
The amount attached for this years confrence (sic) for young lawyers is highly insensitive

Wonder Ajibobola
Most young lawyers in Nigeria earn below 50 thousand naira month, which is actually way too small considering the economic situation of the country. The least the association can do is to give young lawyers a soft landing.

Frank Eze
The Conference fees is elitist

Ekundayo Oluwafemi
The amount required to pay is too high and I don’t have the capacity

Emmanuel Nwafor
I want the NBA to look in to the conference fee and also consider the economy of Young Lawyer, so that they will have the sense of belong and share joy with our seniors, as we learn along…

Fasasi Sodiq
I’m signing this because of the outrageous amount of NBA conference fee for lawyers which I find ridiculous. In a sane clime the conference supposed to be free. Some of this lawyers are still suffering to find their footings. Now a platform designed for network turned to an extorting spree…

Leonard Abah
The fee is unreasonably Outrageous and the reasons attributed for it are not good enough

Ledua Zor-Akekue
I am a young lawyer and want attend the conference, but with this current fee I will not be able to attend. This fee is obviously high for a young lawyer.

Mmaduabuchi Okeh
The fee is harsh and beyond the reach of many young lawyers

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