March 20, 2017 marked the first day of activities for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) delegation on its Trade Mission talks in Melbourne, Australia.

The delegation led by the President, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN, commenced a five-day working visit and Legal Services Trade Mission to Melbourne, Australia in line with meeting the required action points and timelines of the Strategic Plan of the NBA.

Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN,

Legal Services Trade Mission of the NBA with the Australia-Africa Chambers of Commerce Team

Legal Services Trade Mission of the NBA with the Australia-Africa Chambers of Commerce Team

The Legal Services Trade Mission commenced with a high-level meeting with representatives of the Australia-Africa Chambers of Commerce. The aim of the meeting being to formally introduce the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to the Australia-Africa Chamber of Commerce and discuss areas of mutual interests and benefits to both organisations and their members.

The NBA President gave a brief overview of the Nigeria Bar Association, as the foremost professional membership organisation for legal practitioners in Nigeria. He talked about the development and implementation of the strategic plan which focused on areas of Regulation, Representation, Re-Engineering and Public Interest (3Rs-P); emphasising that the Public interests initiative relate to promotion of the rule of law, protection of human rights, and administration of Justice, conflict resolution and economic development.

He went further to mention the aims and objectives of the Legal Services Trade Mission which was to strengthen relations between the Australian and Nigerian Governments through Law, develop Partnerships between the Nigerian and Australian Bar and Business Associations, deepen the knowledge and expertise of Nigerian Lawyers on Common Law, create awareness about the Nigerian legal and business climate to Organisations interested in doing Business in Nigeria, as well as create networking opportunities for Nigerian Lawyers and Law Firms.

Furthermore, the President outlined the advantages of doing business in Nigeria which includes; high population, untapped resources, increasing consumer base, little price regulation except on things like fuel and fuel products, less restrictive business laws, little start-up capital required, less taxation and cheap labour; amongst others.

Next was the NBA President’s meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Council of Australia, Mr. Jonathan Smithers with the aim of brokering a strategic relationship between the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Law Council of Australia and explore avenues for partnership between the organisations.

The President talked about the ongoing initiative to reform the legal and regulatory architecture of the legal profession in Nigeria. He said “to address these legal and regulatory constraints, we must develop an enduring regulatory programme; hence we have set up the NBA Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee (LPRRC) to carry out this objective and ensure its careful delivery.

One of the terms of reference (ToR) of the committee is to review the current regulatory objectives and regulatory architecture of the legal profession and advise on its suitability to meet the current requirements for a robust, responsive and modern legal profession in Nigeria”.

Thereafter, the NBA President led the NBA delegation on a tour of the Melbourne Central Business District where the entire delegation experienced the allure and seamlessness of the public transport system in Australia.

The NBA delegation include Isiaka Abiola Olagunju (General Secretary, NBA), Oji Benedict (Third Vice President, NBA), Muritala Abdul-Rasheed (Chief of Staff to the NBA President), Ms. Zainab Animashaun (Policy and Strategic Planning Adviser to the NBA President), Aminu Sani Gandaya and Hapsatu Hamma Abdullahi.

Bukar Alhaji Waziri, Esq.

National Publicity Secretary

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

March 21, 2017

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