RACE FOR THE NBA LAGOS CHAIR: 8 VISIONS OF YEMI AKANGBE

INTRODUCTION

Time is here again for the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA Lagos” or “The Branch”) to elect the person who will pilot the affairs of the Branch as Chairperson. NBA Lagos was the forerunner of what is today known as the Nigerian Bar Association. By this historic fact, it earned the title, The Premier Bar. NBA Lagos is currently one of the NBA branches in Lagos State. It majorly serves the interests of members based on the Islands of Lagos and neighbouring environs. In history, NBA Lagos has been blessed with gentlemen who had worked to promote the institutional core objectives of the Branch. The current Chairman of the Branch, Mr. Chuka Ikwuazom, has been an exemplary leader whose amazing vision has brought a lot of remarkable progress to the Branch. As his tenure is about to end, the question now is on whose shoulders should the mantle of leadership fall?

Mr. Lateef Omoyemi Akangbe (popularly known as Yemi Akangbe) is saying, “Here am I.” Yemi Akangbe is a partner in the Law Firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore (SOOB Law). He is a distinguished and successful attorney who has now presented himself for election into the office of the Chairman of NBA Lagos. He has served the NBA Lagos in various committees such as the Law Week Planning Committee, Building Committee and in the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Mentorship Committee. The story of the proven successes of these Committees in recent times cannot be completely told without due reference to the contributions of Yemi Akangbe. From his recent formal declaration, we identified his 8 visions for the NBA Lagos which is coming as a prelude to his manifesto which is underway.

THE 8 VISIONS

1) Creation of Career Development Center.

According to the Learned Gentleman, this proposed Centre is “to serve as data hub and a platform for liaison between the unemployed or underemployed and potential employers.” What this means is that Yemi has seen the need to provide, if elected, the avenue for support for legal practitioners in the Branch who aim to venture on their own as prospective law firm entrepreneurs.

2) Enhancement of the CLE & Mentorship Initiatives.

Being a member of the CLE & Mentorship Committee, it is not difficult to appreciate the passion of Yemi in helping with the mentoring objectives of NBA Lagos. As part of his vision in this regard, Yemi stated that he plans to enhance the CLE & Mentorship Initiatives “by establishing collaborations with training providers at no cost or at highly subsidized rates with a view to having our members obtain career defining certifications.”

3) Law Firm Mentorship Initiative.

Yemi appreciates the importance of effective and strategic mentorship for up-coming Law Firms. As part of the mentoring initiative, he has already guaranteed the cooperation of some experienced and successful law firms willing to assist young firms with the ideas needed for a successful outing in the legal industry.

4) Engaging Consultants on Practice Structuring.

Flowing from the need to assist up-coming law firms, Yemi also desires to engage consultants, both within the legal sector and beyond, to provide useful information and guidance that will enable members of the Branch to properly structure their practices. The growth of any law firm has a lot to do with the right structuring. The interesting thing about this idea is that it is aimed at being a regular affair and intended to be at no cost.

5) Health Insurance Scheme.

Yemi is passionate about the health and welfare plan of members. He is looking at engaging healthcare providers mainly for the purpose of ensuring affordable enrollment of members into a health insurance scheme.

6) More Effective and Efficient Judiciary.

Yemi hopes to, if elected, immediately engage the Judiciary (especially the Lagos State Judiciary) on developing ideas relating to a more effective and efficient service delivery. He also hopes to work towards seeing that legitimate complaints of lawyers are brought to the attention of the authorities for speedy resolution.

7) Clear Agenda for the Young Lawyers Forum

Yemi strongly believes in the Young Lawyers Forum and is looking at working to bring fresh ideas into the affairs of the Forum, chief of which is to allow a flexible process that will enable members of the Forum determine their leaders by election. Importantly, Yemi guarantees the provision of the needed resources to enable the achievement of the set objectives for the Forum.

8) Effective Secretariat

The idea of Yemi is to improve on the services currently being rendered by the Secretariat in order to ease the interaction between members of the Branch and the Secretariat. Yemi understands that a more effective Secretariat means a whole lot to members of the Branch.

SUMMARY

In conclusion, Yemi’s overall aim is simple and clear: “To create platforms that will bring about the upliftment of our members by galvanizing the resources that are readily available to us within the Branch.” Also, he noted that his focus is on the welfare and prosperity of members and that he has already developed a number of achievable initiatives that are aimed at increasing what he termed, the social mobility of members, and expanding their knowledge base to help create the tools for successful practices.

While Yemi’s full manifesto is being awaited, the writer believes that Mr. Yemi Akangbe has penned down relevant information giving a window to what to expect, and leaving members with something to think about for the coming weeks.



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a Legal Practitioner, Consultant, Mediator and Social Entrepreneur. He is the Managing Attorney at Splendour Legal Consultants. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts. Desirous of implementing new legal solutions, he founded Stephen Legal, a firm in the business of providing innovative legal insights and easy solution in this information age. Stephen also serves as a volunteer at Prof. Pat. Utomi’s Centre for Values in Leadership in Lagos, given his passion for capacity building and leadership development.
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