*Says The 2021 AGC Hopes To See 10,000 to 12,000 Delegates Attending Physically And Virtually
*Plans Documentary To Showcase Contributions Of NBA Leadership To The Nation’s History

The Nigerian Bar Association Association, NBA, has said that Annual General Conference is the most important event in the calendar of the Association.

In a concept note made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, the NBA says the 61st edition of the AGC to be held at Port Harcourt proposes to engage delegates in-depth discourse stirred by speakers and panellists with a wealth of unparalleled local and global experience, aimed at proliferating the knowledge, skills and inspiration, to improve our lot within the continent and as a nation, by addressing a myriad of issues that we currently face.

The programmes to be held at the 2021 AGC includes a documentary showcase on the leadership contributions of the Bar Association and its members through epoch making events in our Nation’s history, with a stimulating historical narrative, as well as interviews with legal luminaries.

Read the concept note below

Nigerian Bar Association, Annual General Conference, 2021

Concept Note

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference (AGC) remains one of the largest singular gathering of lawyers anywhere in the world and represents the most important event on the NBA’s annual calendar.  The 61st edition of the NBA AGC has as its core objective, the desire to host a world class international hybrid conference, combining both virtual and physical participation.

As the world continues to contend with the scourge of COVID-19 in all its mutations.  We have had to contend with the far-reaching healthcare, social, and economic implications of the pandemic. We have all been forced to continue to adapt and learn to navigate our current realities. It must of course follow that the NBA – as the face of our esteemed profession – demonstrates its readiness and capacity to continue to champion this continuous evolution. Primary amongst of which is the imperative of leading the charge for change, and the adoption of rules, processes and skills that will allow us to adapt.

Synthesised from within a broad agenda for sustainable and inclusive transformation and  growth through the  entrenchment of the rule of law, tabled by the President of the NBA, Mr Olu Apkata from the inception of his tenure; this year’s AGC, with the theme Taking the Lead, aims to forge a mould, which will shape subsequent generations of the Nigerian Bar and more importantly reposition the legal profession to play our critical role of Taking the Lead in its role as an instrument of social engineering and a catalyst for national development.

The theme lends itself to the opportunity to shift from an approach of being reactive to being proactive and where necessary, to challenge the status quo, speak truth to power and advocate for a better society. Taking the Lead, suggests that we assume responsibility for proffering solutions and challenge ourselves to take the lead in implementing these solutions. The conference aims to move away from diagnostic discourse to a focus on being more prescriptive as to what needs to be done.

The 61st edition of the AGC proposes to engage delegates in-depth discourse stirred by speakers and panellists with a wealth of unparalleled local and global experience, aimed at proliferating the knowledge, skills and inspiration, to improve our lot within the continent and as a nation, by addressing a myriad of issues that we currently face.  The thrust of the discourse is intended to pick up from the inspired legacies bequeathed in past NBA Conferences and refract the theme Taking the Lead through several perspectives:

Focus on the Nation and Continent

Evincing from the fact that there is so much latent potential, there is a need to energise the drive towards achieving our full potential as a nation and a continent.  Particularly, in areas of creating a secure and enabling environment for the teeming populace, and which should drive trade and investment in Nigeria and across the African continent, to ensure political and economic stability and sustainable growth.  Nigeria must strive to be at the lead of this drive and help rewrite the African narrative.

Focus on Institutions

In addressing institutions, we identify the need to build on avenues for constructive engagement with both the public and private sector, and to hold them accountable to their responsibilities. We emphasise on the need for the private sector to share the burden and not shirk from their role as partners with government for growth and development, but also to positively harness their influence on government.  At the same time the legal profession must lead in the need for continuous engagement and ensure that the activities of public and private establishments alike, should be held to the highest level of constructive scrutiny.

Focus on the Legal Profession

Through various topical subject matter sessions and live debates on issues, we will pivot on an introspection of the concept of responsible leadership.  Do we understand the mind-set of true leadership and are we equipped to be leaders, particularly in an age of disruption and innovation? Do we as lawyers have the skills, competence, and character to Take the Lead? Do we have a collective vision for the Bar, to Take the Lead and are we ready to take the responsibility to lead? We shall raise interrogatories on how we can consciously imbibe and exude the prerequisites of accountability, trust, humility, excellence, selflessness, and integrity.

Conference Structure & Programme

The conference this year hopes to see some 10,000 to 12,000 delegates attending physically and virtually, as well as an audience reach of over 20,000 participating through our numerous viewing feeds and digital conference platforms. This participation will span the one-week conference schedule, including 3 days of live, active, and energised conference sessions amidst sporting, entertainment and networking opportunities and events.

The conference programme includes:

  1. A documentary showcase on the leadership contributions of the Bar Association and its members through epoch making events in our Nation’s history, with a stimulating historical narrative, as well as interviews with legal luminaries.
  2. Keynote Address on leadership issues affecting the continent, country and the Bar and discussions by renowned leaders who have been successful change agents.
  3. Interactive plenary sessions and breakout sessions with panel discussions comprised of panellists drawn from heads of the three arms of government, state representatives as well as past and present leaders, legal icons, heads of global agencies, key subject matter experts and civil society.
  1. A series of monumental debates on the Bar and Bench of yesterday, today and the future by leading local and international legal icons, looking at the regulation of practice and justice sector reforms.
  2. Specialised thematic and subject-matter oriented sessions hosted by the different sections and fora of the NBA focusing on business law, legal practice, public interest, gender issues and young lawyers.
  3. Technical training to foster mentoring between bar leaders, young lawyers, and new wigs.

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