Friday, 21st January 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:
Law  

Akpata laments slow access to justice, underemployment of lawyers

By Ngozi Egenuka 
04 January 2022   |   2:48 am
The president, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata, has lamented underemployment and poor remuneration of lawyers.

Chairman of the NBA-SBL, Olumide Akpata

The president, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata, has lamented underemployment and poor remuneration of lawyers. 

He said the slow pace of administration of justice and the unpleasant experience of lawyers who go to courts had been of great concern to him.

He noted that the NBA had been working on those issues in varying degrees and intends to double its efforts this year to ensure that they are resolved, or at least lay the foundation for their resolution even beyond his tenure.

Akpata made the disclosure in a new year statement he released on January 1.

“The first is the slow pace of administration of justice and the unpleasant experience of many of our members who use the courts.  On this, our NBA Judiciary Committee led by Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, has been working relentlessly for a possible solution. I have the assurance of the Committee that, on account of their work, we will begin to see changes at our courts during the year through their court monitoring activities and other high-level engagements.

“The second is the remuneration of lawyers and scale of charges for legal services. I quite understand the apprehension of our members in this regard, and I can confirm that the Anthony Nwaochei-led NBA Remuneration Committee has done considerable work on this issue and is putting the finishing touches on their proposals. 

Once this is concluded, and we have the approval of the NBA-NEC, we will make the recommendations and implementation strategies of the Remuneration Committee public and commence enforcement.

“The third is under-employment and unemployment of lawyers. While this is a macroeconomic issue and cuts across all professions, we are cognisant of the fact that the NBA can galvanise and play a role in reducing the trend within the legal profession.”

He reiterated his commitment to give attention to the issue of underemployment/unemployment within the profession and devise other practical means of dealing with the issue within the powers of the NBA.

This year, he noted signals the end of his administration as they are constitutionally mandated to hand over to a new team by August 2022.