NBA Elections 2018: Manifesto of Ben Oji for the Post of 2nd Vice President
BEN OJI, ESQ., MCIARB
I was called to the Bar in 1988.
I have served in several capacities at the Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch, including that of chairman from 2012 to 2014. I have been a member of the National Executive Committee for several years.
I am currently 3rd Vice President.
The constitutional responsibility of the 2nd Vice President is to visit and supervise the Branches in the zone assigned to him.
Having discharged that responsibility as 3rd Vice President, it is one that I am familiar with. As 3rd Vice President, I visited most of the Branches in the zone assigned to me and submitted reports of those visits.
What are my areas of interest in the discharge of the duties of the 2nd Vice President?
My several visits to Branches have made me understand some of the challenges and issues confronting different Branches and this gives me the experience to ensure that challenges and problems of Branches are brought to the attention of the National Officers for them to be addressed.
If voted into office as 2nd Vice President, I shall effectively supervise and visit all the Branches in the zone which would be assigned to me.
The Branches ought to be more effective and autonomous; they have inadvertently contributed to ceding their authority to the national body.
Working with other national officers, we shall take steps to make our Branches more responsive and effective; we will encourage greater support for the programmes and activities of the Branches by the national body. The national body would render support to the Branches in the event of challenges with authorities and organs of state/ government.
Also, the smaller Branches of the Association would, as a deliberate policy, be given more attention.
As 2nd Vice President, I shall also pay particular attention to issues touching on the welfare of members.
There are a number of reports and proposals which have been written and some are presently being implemented. We shall review them so as to strengthen those in operation so as to make them more relevant and beneficial whilst the pending proposals shall be looked into so as to implement those which are suitable and would be beneficial to members.
I am aware that there is a policy proposal regarding the insurance scheme for members which, if implemented, would drastically reduce (if not eliminate) the delay in the processing of death and disability benefits for members.
There are various ‘partner agreements’ with various service providers which would require review so as to benefit members.
I would work with other national officers to make the payment processes for services less cumbersome.
An existing proposal, made in 2017, to make the processing of stamps easier would be revisited and reviewed for purpose of implementation so that the attendant delays and challenges associated with the current process would be addressed.
One issue that I would propose to be given due consideration is the welfare of our members living with disabilities. A recent visit undertaken to one of the Branches under my supervision brought to the fore the fact that we are presently not doing enough to cater for this category of members – we need to get them involved in our programmes and activities.
3. COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP
The office of the 2nd Vice President is one which should be occupied by a ‘team player’; a person who is innovative, has good ideas and is willing to make useful contributions to the collective success of the national officers for the betterment and growth of the Association.
He should be a ‘sounding board’ for the President.
As 3rd Vice President, I have often made my contributions and proposals on several issues and many of these are documented in reports and memoranda.
If elected 2nd Vice President, I would build upon this practice.
I shall work with the President and other national officers to re-position the Bar, professionalise the secretariat and strenghthen the disciplinary process of the Association.
I shall also, together with the President and other national officers, endeavour to run an effective and successful administration which would serve the interest of, and bring honour to, the Association.
Together, we can build and achieve the kind of Bar Association we desire and deserve.
Let us join hands to do that.
Ben Oji, Esq., MCIArb