The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has released 10 per cent of the Bar Practice Fees (BPF)of members to ameliorate the economic hardship brought by the lockdown to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN, announced this on Thursday on the NBA twitter handle.
Usoro said most of the NBA members depend on daily court appearance, incorporation and related activities at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for their livelihood.
According to Usoro, the deadly pandemic has literally and tragically stalled global and domestic economic activities and imposed grave and economic hardship on most of our members.
He stated that some of the members’ means of livelihood had come to an abrupt stop upon the COVID-19 lockdown.
He noted that the abruptness of the lockdown “accentuate our economic misery as there was no room for preparation or stocking up.’’
The NBA president said he had received reports that some of the association branches had identified with lawyers in need and had also opened their barn-stores to less-endowed members.
Usoro stated that to complement the efforts of the branches and members, the association had released 10 per cent of the bar practice fee to various branches.
He said that the association had agreed with the branches chairmen that those remittances would be utilised by the branches in ameliorating the economic pain and hardship on vulnerable members.
“These 10 per cent bar practice fees will be given to vulnerable members provided that they are up to date in the payment of their financial dues, given to the fact that the 10 per cent remittance was possible pursuant to their diligence in living up to their financial obligation to the association,’’ he said.
He said that to augment the 10 per cent remittance, the association was in the process of constituting a blue-ribbon welfare committee to raise funds from members and other public-spirited third parties.
The president said that the fund would help in providing succour to extremely vulnerable members of the association.
He advised members to persist in taking personal responsibility for preventing the spread of the dreaded virus by maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing and also follow all the advisories on the mandatory measures.