2019 Annual Conference: NBA’s Section on Business Law Unveils Theme & Programme of Activities

Mrs. Fola Akande, Mena Ajakpovi, CPC Chair – Dr. Adeoye Adefulu, SBL Chair – Seni Adio (SAN), Mrs. Justina Lewa, and Okey Egbuchu
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2019 Annual Conference: NBA’s Section on Business Law Unveils Theme & Programme of Activities

The Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) has unveiled a comprehensive schedule of activities for what promises to be one of its most eventful annual conferences yet. Slated to hold from Wednesday, June 26 to Friday, June 28, 2019 at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, the conference will explore a wide range of contemporary socio-economic issues under the theme:Growth, Investments and Employment: Beyond Rhetoric.

Some NBA-SBL Council members at the press briefing: Omubo Victor Frank-Briggs, Wale Akanni (SAN), Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha, Mrs. Fola Akande, Mena Ajakpovi, CPC Chair – Dr. Adeoye Adefulu, SBL Chair – Seni Adio (SAN), Mrs. Justina Lewa, Okey Egbuchu, Ama Atuwewe and Anthony Nwaochei

This disclosure was made at a well-attended press briefing in Lagos by the executive council of the NBA-SBL led by its national chairman, Seni Adio, SAN. Other members of the council in attendance at the briefing included the chairman of the 2019 Conference Planning Committee (CPC), Dr. Adeoye Adefulu and his deputy Mrs. Ozofu Ogiemudia (who also serves as the head of its Programme Planning Committee) and Okey Egbuchu (who headed the 2108 conference planning committee). Also present were Ama Atuwewe, Mrs. Justina Lewa, Mena Ajakpovi, Mrs. Akande, Wale Akanni (SAN), and Omubo Victor Frank-Briggs.

In his introductory remarks, the CPC chair, Dr. Adefulu reminded participants about the undoubted pedigree of the SBL (which is one of the three specialist sections of the NBA – the other two being the Section on Legal Practice, SLP and the Section on Public Interest and Development Law, SPIDEL) as an organization set up to enhance the professional development of commercial lawyers in Nigeria; to influence policies of government – especially as they pertain to enhancing a business-friendly environment for the benefit of local and foreign investors – and to engender and support law and policy reform, not just in Nigeria but on the African continent as a whole. Dr. Adefulu also highlighted some of the SBL’s most notable achievements over the years to include its involvement in the National Assembly’s Business Environment Roundtable, or NASSBER, as well as the presidential initiative known as PEBEC, both of which are aimed at enhancing the business environment in Nigeria, especially its Ease-of-Doing-Business profile. The results of the SBL’s involvement in these initiatives, coupled with the SBL’s widely-acclaimed focus on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at its 2018 conference in Abuja, he went on, have resonated with policy makers in the country, as well as with the implementers of the continental agreement. This, according to the CPC chair, is in line with the core objectives of the SBL, namely, to promote the delivery of qualitative business services to the Nigerian public; to provide continuing legal education to lawyers in the section; to guide, assist and organize enlightenment programmes for the Section’s over 20 committees, as well as for the nation’s legislative bodies and government parastatals in the drafting and enactment of laws pertaining to issues of business and commerce in the country.

CPC Chairman, Dr. Adeoye Adefulu, addressing pressmen during briefing. By his side is the NBA-SBL Chairman, Seni Adio (SAN)

Sessions at the 2019 NBA-SBL in particular, Adefulu said, will explore the factors, measures and actions required to achieve speedier economic growth in Nigeria, along with increased rates of investment and employment. Also under review would be the crucial role of legal practitioners in this process, and the opportunities that abound for them in terms of business growth and professional capacity development. Adefulu ended by paying special tribute to the key sponsors – Premium, Gold and others – of this year’s conference, which include law firms, government agencies at state and federal levels, as well as individuals too numerous to mention.

Also speaking, the head of the Programme Planning Committee, Mrs. Ozofu Ogiemudia disclosed that the 2019 conference would be preceded by a newly-introduced event known as the General Counsel Summit (to be attended by senior in-house lawyers) on Tuesday, June 25 under the theme, ‘Gaining Perspective: Shaping the Role of the African General Counsel.’

Mrs. Ozofu Ogiemudia, CPC Alternate Chair (she also serves as the head of Programme Planning Committee)

The conference itself will consist of two days of panel sessions and general deliberations as follows:

Thursday, June 27:

  • Session 1: Triage – The Nigerian Economy
  • Session 2: Health, Security & Education – Building a Foundation for Inclusive Growth
  • Session 3: Moving from Crude Oil to Value Addition
  • Session 4: The #MeToo Movement – Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Session 5: Investing in Trade – Options, Challenges & Keys to Success
  • Session 6: Building Investor Confidence in the Administration Of Justice

Friday, June 28:

  • Session 7: Leading The Charge – The Private Sector &theNigerian Economy
  • Session 8: Smarter Regulation – A Catalyst for Growth, Investment & Employment
  • Session 9: Making Mining in Nigeria Work
  • Session 10: The Agriculture Value Chain as a Catalyst For Economic Growth
  • Session 11: Improving Financial Services a sa Catalyst for Growing MSMEs
  • Session 12: Mind The Gap – The New Era of Taxation in Nigeria
  • Session 13: The Future of Law – Adapting to the Changing Face of the Legal Profession In Nigeria
  • Session 14: Debate: The Path to Partnership

These sessions, Mrs. Ogiemudia revealed, would be powered by the combined brainpower of a formidable faculty of distinguished speakers – Nigerians and foreigners alike – such as Bimbo Ogunbanjo, Cecilia Akintomide, Justice B. M. Idris, Kingsley Moghalu, Toyin Sanni, Engr. Dada Thomas, Nankunda Katangaza, Andrew Nevin, And Olubunmi Talabi-Aboderin, among others.

The special place held by young lawyers as the future of the legal profession – and the need to always take their constraints and concerns into consideration – is not lost on the NBA-SBL, Mrs. Ogiemudia affirmed. In view of this, she disclosed, as many as 100 young lawyers from various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association are being sponsored to this year’s conference in the areas of attendance, transportation and other logistics, as well as welfare and accommodation. This is in addition to the special video competition was sponsored by the Section earlier in the year – in which young lawyers were required to speak on what the 2019 conference theme ‘Growth, Investments & Employment: Beyond Rhetoric’ meant personally to them. Winners and runners-up of the competition would be announced and presented with their awards during the conference.

The Programme Planning Committee chair also revealed that the conference venue (Eko Hotel & Suites) would host an equally rich and eclectic line-up of social events to climax the 2019 conference. These will include an opening dinner on the 26th of June; a variety night, featuring a fashion show and an art exhibition on the 27th; and a closing party on the 28th.

Members of the NBA-SBL executive council – including its chairman, Seni Adio, SAN – took turns to field questions from members of the press on such matters as the online issuance of certifications in the aftermath of the conference; the nefarious activities of touts who issue fake documents such as affidavits, marriage licenses, tax clearances and even death certificates, etc. on court premises; loan acquisitions by small and medium-scale businesses; and mentorship for young lawyers, among other pertinent issues.

In his vote of thanks, a member of the SBL executive council, Omubo Frank-Briggs, extolled the close relationship between the Section and the media, calling for its continued sustenance. He ended by promising a fulfilling conference experience for all, urging participants to take full advantage of both the intellectual riches as well as the social (and especially networking) opportunities on offer at the 2019 gathering.

See photos below:


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