In a resounding testament to visionary leadership, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has marked a transformative chapter in its history under the dynamic administration of Y. C. Maikyau, OON, SAN, the President of the NBA. The official launch of the revamped digital ecosystem, including the NBA website, portal, mobile app, blog, and data policy, all announced at the last NEC meeting on December 7, 2023, underscores President Maikyau’s role as an innovator and big thinker, propelling the legal fraternity into a new era of connectivity and efficiency.
Mr. Solomon Magaji, the Head of the ICT Unit, informed members about the innovations at the last NEC meeting on December 7, 2023, providing a detailed walkthrough of their functionalities to NEC members.
MORDERNIZED NBA WEBSITE:
Under President Maikyau’s guidance, the NBA’s digital evolution kicks off with a sleek, user-friendly, and fully responsive website boasting a modern design aligned with global trends. The newly revamped NBA website represents a significant leap forward in the online presence of the NBA, boasting several key features as it offers an immersive experience across all devices. Indeed, within months of going live, it has garnered over 167,000 views, with the “Find a Lawyer” directory emerging as a favorite, allowing clients to conduct due diligence on lawyers and aiding in the recovery of lost Enrolment Numbers. It is also worth noting that the search phrase ‘Find a Lawyer’ returns the NBA find a lawyer page as the 1st result on google search.
- REVOLUTIONARY NBA PORTAL:
The development of a proprietary lawyer’s self-service portal has brought several transformative features:
a. Cutting-Edge Technology: Built using the latest technologies and frameworks, this portal ensures fast, secure, and reliable data exchange and financial transactions.
b. Membership Payments: Members can now conveniently make BPF payments, instantly receiving downloadable receipts on their portal. Group BPF payments have also been streamlined making it easier for members to make BPF payments on behalf of their colleagues. The Newly introduced BPF backlog payment feature allows members to rectify missed payments. A lawyer recently used this payment feature to clear a backlog of 9 years worth of BPF payment, resulting in the recovery of over NGN150,000 in previously lost revenue for the association at an instance.
c. Transaction History: Members can track all their payments and access receipts for BPF and other transactions like stamp and seal payments.
d. Profile Management: Members can update their personal and professional information with ease, keeping their contact details and areas of expertise current.
e. Identity Verification: Members can verify their identity through the portal using their NIN/VNIN. This process will result in the issuance of a unique NBA ID to all members that successfully complete this process.
f. Lawyers Database: The development of a robust database of lawyers opens doors for companies and organizations to leverage the NBA API for user authentication, adding more value to their products and ensuring exclusivity to members. This can potentially generate revenue for the association.
g. Email support Ticket: The NBA portal also features a new email support system, allowing lawyers to select from a list of predefined complaints, including Name correction, Lost Enrolment Numbers, and other portal-related issues. These complaints are directed to a newly created email address, email@example.com, ensuring swift and efficient assistance from the NBA IT team. To date, NBA IT has successfully responded to over 1600 emails, with lawyers expressing 100% satisfaction with the response time and professionalism of the NBA IT support team.
- EMPOWERING NBA BLOG:
The NBA has established a new avenue for sharing NBA news and information, reducing our reliance solely on email broadcasts and social media platforms. NBA-related content are now disseminated through this dedicated blog, which not only serves as a primary information source but also reinforces the authenticity of NBA news and publications across social media and mainstream news outlets. Some Key benefits include.
a. Member Contributions: In the future, members will have the opportunity to contribute articles, white papers, and other content to the official NBA blog.
b. Advertising Opportunities: The NBA blog will offer advertising opportunities through sponsored ads, potentially generating additional revenue for the association.
- NEW NBA MOBILE APP:
The Maikyau-led administration has developed a Native mobile application for iOS and Android users. This application provides lawyers with convenient access to all the features available on the NBA portal, enhancing accessibility and usability. Using the App, members can conveniently make BPF payments, find a lawyer in Nigeria, access transaction history, manage profiles, verify their identity via NIN/VNIN etc. Members can also download NEC and AGC Reports, stay updated with the latest NBA News and get all exclusive content from the AGC. Members can also view and print past receipts making it less cumbersome when one has to quickly get the required receipts for applications for Silk, to the bench or as a Notary. The ‘Find a Lawyer’ directory is a particular delight as lawyers can easily get their enrolment numbers once they enter their names on the portal.
Its important to note the app is distinct from the ‘Digital NBA App’, currently undergoing applications for removal to avoid confusion.
The App is currently available for download on both the iOS and android stores as NBA DIGITAL APP.
- SECURED NBA DEDICATED SERVER
The NBA has acquired a secure, dedicated server for the NBA exclusively managed by the NBA IT team. The NBA server acts as the nerve center for all the above-mentioned products and solutions.
- GROUND BREAKING DATA POLICY:
For the first time ever, the NBA has engaged the services of a licensed Data Protection Compliance Officer (DPCO) who have performed a gaps analysis and subsequently produced a draft data policy document currently being reviewed by the national secretariat. CONCLUSION: President Y. C. Maikyau, OON, SAN, has showcased his commitment to a digital future, providing valuable resources to members and stakeholders. His administration enhances connectivity and explores potential revenue-generating opportunities through an innovative and forward-thinking approach. The launch sets the stage for the NBA, under President Maikyau’s visionary leadership, to continue leading the legal fraternity into the digital era, fostering collaboration, and ensuring the highest standards of data protection and transparency.
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