The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr Paul Usoro SAN on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the association as defenders of the liberty of the people will continue to challenge the Nigerian government to live up to its responsibilities on the security and welfare of the people.
Usoro said that in other to further achieve this aim, the Annual General Conference of the association which is billed to come up in August will be discussing all the challenges facing Nigerians as a people.
The NBA conference is billed to take place in Lagos between August 23 and 29, 2019. The theme of this year’s conference, the 59th edition is “Facing the Future”. The venue is the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos; with an adjunctive venue for breakout sessions at the Harbour Point Event Centre, also in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Usoro said the association is not unmindful of the security challenges facing Nigerians as members of the association across the country had fallen victims of kidnapping and banditry. He said that the association is therefore eager to join in finding a lasting solution to the problems facing the nation.
The chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, Mr Gbenga Oyebode in his address explained that the Conference will feature over 30 technical sessions and showcase sessions, where subject-matter experts, business leaders and renowned political leaders in various fields of human endeavour will lead conversations primarily aimed at envisioning the future of the Legal Profession, within the context of a rapidly changing and evolving world, and anticipate the adaptive measures that practitioners will be required to embrace in light of these imminent changes.
The alternate chairman, Mr Olumide Akpata said that more than 12,000 legal practitioners are expected to attend the conference. He said the conference is open to all members of the NBA and, indeed, members of the public. “The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the NBA is enthusiastically ready to welcome delegates and guests to the high-octane City of Lagos with its very rich and diverse cultures, bustling with entrepreneurs”, he said.
On the theme of the conference, Facing the future, he explained: “Nigeria recently welcomed a new democratic administration following the just concluded 2019 general elections. A new administration of the Nigerian Bar was ushered in last year. Within the period of 6 years, Nigeria has experienced markedly mixed fortunes, including the end a boom period, a recession and, more recently, a slow recovery. These events underscore the exigencies for a well-defined, deliberate template for “Facing the Future;
The Conference will address issues around the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, access to justice and protection of fundamental human rights, the economy and how to pilot the present to assure a better future. The theme “Facing the Future” is borne out of the pressing need to invest in a sustainable foundation for an optimistic future;
The phenomena of globalization and technology have evolved exponentially over the years and have disrupted practically every sphere of society. Artificial intelligence, block chain, financial technology, cloud computing, electronic documentation and electronic discovery are a few of the technologies that have directly and will continue to impact the manufacturing and services sectors including the legal and justice sub-sectors.
The Conference will interrogate the current legal regulatory environment, lawyers’ response to technology and preparedness to harness these tools for efficient legal services delivery and a technology driven judiciary.
This year, the Conference places the NBA Sections and their respective specialist committee sessions at the heart of the conference programme for capacity building.
Lawyers will have a real opportunity to focus on their areas of interest and benefit from exposure to emerging practice areas to be better equipped and reinforced to Face the Future”, he said.
The President of the International Bar Association (IBA), Mr Horacio Bernardes Neto is expected to be in attendance and launch the IBA Working Group on Sexual Harassment and Bullying in the legal profession. There would be over 40 other speakers and guests at the conference.