Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch Treasurer, MR. PHILLIP NJETENEH has queried the “high” service charge for online payment of Bar Practice Fee (BPF).
In an article addressed to the NBA leadership, Njeteneh also decried the retention of Access Bank Plc as the sole agent-bank for payment of BPF, arguing that the present framework does not foster the welfarist agenda of the Olumide Akpata-led NBA.
NBA ONLINE PAYMENT CHANNEL & MONOPOLY – A REACTION TO DR. RAPULU NDUKA’s LETTER TO MEMBERS
Dear Dr. Rapulu Nduka
Nigerian Bar Association.
Re: MATTERS ARISING FROM THE RECENTLY LAUNCHED NBA PORTAL FOR PAYMENT OF 2022 BPF & OTHER RELATED ISSUES
Thank you for the letter above to members and thank you for the wonderful job your team under the leadership of our able President have been doing.
However, much as we praise you when you hit the bull’s eyes on our affairs we must at least let you know (even if we choose not to apply the knocks) when you hit us below the belt.
Just as you have brought out the bullet points of the benefits of this monopoly of channel of payment, let me equally echo some observations about this channel of payment which I was hoping to read from your letter above but which I did not see.
For starters, are you aware that there are complaints about the additional charges to payment under this channel?
For many, paying almost #500 additional as charges when there are better and less exorbitant charges available is something they don’t consider welfarist.
These high charges, are they an error like the error of the Senior Advocates/Benchers payment or these are charges that have come to stay?
These exorbitant charges, are they another form of revenue to the NBA to take care of its welfare packages for its members or this is a revenue solely going into the pocket of the service provider?
If this is a case of the former shouldn’t members be informed so they know they are contributing towards their welfare and if this is a case of the latter is that the best welfarist deal for the members & why must members be forced to to go the way of the most expensive?
Monopoly has never been a welfarist tool, instead it’s the opposite. We know you inherited a monopolistic tool in the name of only Access Bank as the sole Bank for payment of BPF after other Banks were dislodged, but continuing with that monopolistic route does not at the end different your welfarist agenda from the monopolistic rule of the past.
Yes it’s good to move with the tide but in moving with the tide your goal is taking your people safely to the shore and not your people floating ashore.
On this BPF collection it’s my humble opinion that your body language and welfarist agenda is that of an open system which allows for competition where service providers outdo themselves to serve us and not we locking ourselves from competition so a single service provider can feed fat on us.
Please let there be several service providers and channels, NBA is to big to be run as a monopoly when it comes to BPF. Let there be more Banks than a single Bank and let each come with its payment system and let members decide which Bank suites them best based on their payment system and ease of doing business. In 2016 NBA Lagos Branch introduced online payment along with direct payment in the bank. At that period the charges about #250 and there was complaint from members but the direct payment was still open.
Another advantage of having a welfarist leadership is that the leadership listens hence I believe you are reading and listening to the complaints members are making just a few hours into the new year, these complaints are not about to fade away, it’s only going to grow louder and larger and you can either prove your welfarist nature and have them resolved within your tenure or you can choose to manage the situation with rhetorics until your tenure comes to an end & it becomes the headache of next team.
Once again, I say well done to your team for how far you have come, there’s more to be done.
Just minding my business.
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