My Distinguished Colleagues
The outbreak of Covid-19 has not only affected global economy adversely, but has forced digital transformation. It has completely changed the operating models of businesses and has transformed peoples’ approach towards work, given that we are now compelled to work remotely. In view of this, digital acceleration has therefore become a necessity for effective service delivery. I believe as lawyers, we must change our modus operandi to fit in with the new normal. We must accelerate the use of technology not only in our practice but also in the management of the affairs of the NBA. In enhancing digital acceleration at the NBA National Secretariat, I will do the following when elected as the NBA General Secretary:
- I will ensure the NBA National Secretariat will increasingly leverage digital platforms to hold virtual conferences and meetings in line with international standard.
- I will work with the NBA President and other stakeholders to introduce the NBA App which will serve as a one-stop platform for every member of the Association. I believe this will engage and synergize the stakeholders – lawyers, law firms, law faculties & NBA branches. The NBA APP will have three main features; (1) Administrative: online payment of dues, lawyers directory, membership verification, requesting and receiving stamps and seal, information dissemination, etc.; (2) Social: serve as uniting platform for lawyers, contain the links to the various social media platforms and forums for lawyers and contain the trending legal news and videos etc.; and (3) Career Advancement: it will also contain an e-library for easy sourcing of legal resources through partnership with online law reports and schools, contain employment opportunities for lawyers, have career advancements training openings and serve as a veritable networking platform especially to the benefit of young lawyers etc.
- I will also establish the Official NBA Call Centre which will be more responsive and effective than the current NBA contact line that we have. The Call Centre will operate for 24 hours, with at least 4 mobile numbers from the leading telecommunication companies in Nigeria. I believe this will facilitate speedy response to our colleagues’ complaints and inquires and will make the Secretariat accessible to all members, particular lawyers who reside outside Abuja and Nigeria.
- I will also maintain and update annually a comprehensive E-directory of lawyers all over the country and produce same in hardcopy along with the calendar of activities of NBA. I will, when elected General Secretary of the NBA, sustain, maintain and constantly update a verifiable database containing the details of all Nigerian lawyers. This database will contain areas of specialization of lawyers and their contact addresses. I believe such a database would positively assist individuals, government agencies and private-sector companies in identifying skilled lawyers that could assist them in handling certain specialized matters.
- I will work with the NBA President and introduce E-library at the NBA National Secretariat. This will provide very user-friendly interfaces and will be easily accessible on a 24/7 basis to all members of the NBA irrespective of location. It will also enhance easy access to the NBA resources and materials.
- To alleviate the delay in delivery of the NBA stamp and seal to members, I will advocate for and ensure the introduction of electronic stamp and seal, particularly in the face of this current global pandemic and the digitization of work.
- I will introduce E-filing system at the NBA National Secretariat. I believe the E-filing system will enhance information retrieval, effective record keeping, and will also promote continuity and transparency at the NBA National Secretariat. All correspondence received and sent out on behalf of the NBA will be digitally filed. I shall also ensure that records of any of our publications (e.g. leaflets or newsletters) are properly kept electronically for future references. The Reports presented at the various statutory meetings will be properly filed both manually and digitally.
- In the area of continuing legal education and human capital development, the NBA National Secretariat will partner with professional bodies to organize professional virtual seminars on emerging areas of law for our members throughout the period of the global pandemic. I believ e this will greatly enhance the professional skills of our members.
Joyce Oduah, FICMC
Candidate for the Office of NBA General Secretary