Looking Ahead to Continued Service & Growth In 2016
I write thank each and every member of the Nigerian Lawyers Association for the opportunity to lead this great organization for a second and final term. As we look ahead to 2016, we look forward to continued service to the community and exponential growth in our membership.
Looking ahead to the coming term, we plan to aggressively grow our membership by recruiting between 500 and 1,000 new members. We seek to accomplish this by aggressively marketing the NLA and by providing incentives for members who refer a friend and colleague to join. Our goal is to have at least 500 to 1,000 Nigerian lawyers profiled on the NLA website by the end of 2016. This is important because it ties into our primary mission of building a thriving legal community. Today, relationships and communities are built online, and it will be to everyone’s benefit to embrace our new technologic capacity, and to encourage others to do the same.
We plan to begin the process of getting the NLA certified as a CLE provider, so that our members can benefit from free CLE’s, and those of us with expertise in particular areas of law can have a platform to raise their profile by sitting on panels. Indeed, our most recent event, an in-house counsel panel entitled, “A Conversation on Finding Success In-House and In Partnership with Outside Counsel,” which featured two of our distinguished members, Ndidi Oriji (Senior Vice President, NBC Universal) and Uche Ndumele (Associate General Counsel, Pinnacle Foods, Inc.), was one of such efforts to provide professional development opportunities for our members. A CLE certification will provide the NLA with the opportunity to provide numerous CLE events for our members.
We’d like to embrace our role as social engineers who, with the knowledge of the law, can help change our communities and our home country for the better. The NLA is well positioned to – without being political – shed light on issues that have an adverse effect on Nigerian society. One issue that is near and dear to me for example, are certain pro-indigene policies that are practiced in some states in Nigeria. For example, in Abia State, one of the south east states in Nigeria, a certain governor unilaterally fired 4,000 non-indigene workers from the civil service. No Nigerian should be discriminated against for being Nigerian.
Such laws are wrong and unjust, and actually serve as “poison pills” to the nation. They highlight our differences, rather than embrace our diversity. The NLA – having witnessed first hand how anti-discrimination laws have helped improve the social fabric of the United States – is uniquely positioned to shed light on the dangers or such policies, and the benefits of having in its place, anti-discrimination laws that make it illegal to discriminate based on state of origin or tribe.
This is just one of the many issues then NLA is looking forward to working on, in the coming term. We look forward to continued service and will continue to keep you well apprised of our efforts.