In your statement, you assured delegates and participant of huge success, how do you intend to achieve this?
We had already achieved some tremendous success from the point of view that we have distributed over 8,500 tablets to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria. And as I speak to you, the tablets are still been distributed and I am sure in the next two to three days, up to 11,000 tablets would have been distributed. These tablets are all enabled, people have started using them and the experience is fantastic. The second reason why the conference has rightly succeeded is because of the share breath and great speakers that we have put together. I think NBA can boast that no organization in Nigeria since its creation in 1914 has put together the kind of resource that we have put together. We have local ministers, foreign ministers, governors, workers, international bankers, local bankers, international businessmen, and the biggest of all is that we have over 30 countries represented. We are happy that we are able to achieve a conference that is international in nature. The third reason why the conference is successful is because of the subject that will be discussing at the conference. The conference is about people, law firms, and institutions in the countries, about the bars and about the continent of Africa. This conference is about reshaping our story and our being told of how to be where we should be. This conference is about the future and harnessing the opportunity this country has. We hope that at the end of the day, we will come out with a recommendation for Nigeria government, the Nigerian bar and for African bars because we have a conference of Zambian bars; we have a law society of South Africa and have International Bar Association. So, what you would see is also great networking, and not just of Nigeria lawyers, Nigerian businessmen, professionals, Nigerian bankers and all professionals.
Why did you choose Lagos?
Well, Lagos was chosen deliberately as part of enhancing celebrating Lagos at 50. And therefore, Lagos state is one of our major partners in this conference.
In fact, they have provided support in terms of logistics, personnel and in all manner of ways. Also, we have so many other partners, to show you the importance of the conference. The united nation economic hub for Africa, all the way from Ethiopia is sending delegations of over 12; the United Nations agents in Nigeria and the European Union are supporting this conference. Airtel, Zenith Bank, Access bank, Gtbank, DSTV are all supporting this conference. We also have NNPC, Phillips Consulting, Economic Summit group and Thomas International. We had partnership with Airtel and we are putting together free medical service of 34 medical practitioners drawn from Nigeria, America and Canada that will treat 400 people every day of the conference free of charge. And at the place, we have expert that can do check of speech disorder, from heart problem, cancer check, all kinds of disease. Truly, this is one of its kind in the continent. The acting president of the country is going to be there to deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony. On Sunday at landmark center in the evening, the opening ceremony commenced at 7pm and finished at 9pm. The Lagos State governor, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Kano will all be there among many other dignitaries. On Monday the conference business section should start with the acting president having conversation with international anchor at CNN. Before shadowing that conversation, there would be a keynote address about the shape of the world and Nigeria position in it by the former prime minister of Georgia who is known as one of the greatest reformist in the world.
We have the problem of insecurity in the country. What are your plans to safeguard delegates?
I didn’t mention that the Chief of Army staff is the panelist on a military business section. Inspector General of Police will also be there. One of the lead experts in the world on the military business panelist is a Nigerian called Prof. Shoboyejo. He is a dean in one of the leading Technology University in America called WPI. Also, the new Chief of Research and Development of the Arm forces will also be on that panel. We have cooperation of the Inspector General of Police, the commissioner of Police, Lagos state and they will be providing excellent security in the whole area. We as a body have engaged the services of three outstanding security companies to supplement the work of the Nigerian police force in other to make sure that things are orderly. They have agreed for park and ride, so we have the whole of TBS, which will take about 500 cars, Race Course, Lagos High Court and Ikeja high court and also park and ride at the Villa in Lekki. In partnership with Lagos state, they made available to us 40 buses that can take about 100 people each, and we also hire 100 buses that can move people from various locations. We would be encouraging Lagosians to try and avoid that area in order to ease off traffic. In coming to the conference, they should please drive to TBS, or the other parking place to be advertised. There are air-conditioned buses to move people around.
How are young lawyer factored in in this Conference?
The TCCP have decided to take care of the people that may not be able to come to the conference, although the conference was highly subsidized. We have a partner like IBTC who gave us money, United Nations Economic of Africa specifically sponsoring 25 people, paid for their conference fee, accommodation, their flight to Lagos and other expenses. Then NBA itself is also sponsoring 75 other people. By working together with the Disable Lawyers Association, we are sponsoring disable lawyers, and working with the Young Lawyers Forum and Chairman of local branch of various Bars have identified people of various needs and people that are young to help them pay for the conference and also arrange cheap accommodation. We partner with the Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School so it’s hostels can be throw open to the law students, which again will be made available to young lawyers.
Are there any complain or hitches in the course of the online registration?
We had one or two hitches in online registration, I must confess. About 200 people have come back to say they cannot find their names or their location and we have resolve it. We have a registered company providing us electronic access card that will allow you access into the venue and also, Airtel has been very supportive in logistics and took up the responsibility of taken the tablet all over Nigeria for us.
By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
The Guardian News
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