Olumide Akpata has emerged winner of the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after defeating two other contestants who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). This victorious win makes him the NBA’s first non-SAN President in years.
Akpata won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.
The election commenced at exactly 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. It was a virtual voting process where registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage with their Supreme court numbers and cast their votes.
Right from Wednesday night when the elections started, Akpata maintained the lead with more than 50% of the votes at every quarter-hourly update, and he maintained the lead up to the close of the election at 11pm on Thursday.
About 29,636 eligible voters were registered, and the election committee sent the voting link to the registered members via emails and sms.
Announcing the winner at 12:50am on Friday, Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN) said;
“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association”.
What this means
This result represents a sudden change in the order, as Akpata is now the first non-SAN to lead the Nigerian Bar Association in years. Feedback from members of the NBA indicates that there has been a long-standing hunger for a paradigm shift. And now it appears many of the association’s members have a good reason to be excited.
Nairametrics understands that Akpata’s decision to contest for the position was initially met with mixed reactions. However, tweets and other posts seen across various social media platforms suggest that he has managed to meaningfully captivate/appeal to the conscience of the young lawyers who, interestingly, make up the majority of NBA membership.
Very clear that Olumide Akpata is winning this.
And it's not just a victory for him, it's also a victory for young Nigerian lawyers; a victory for lawyers who have resisted the SAN hegemony; and a victory for social media too.
— Ayo Sogunro – #Transformist (@ayosogunro) July 30, 2020
About Olumide Akpata
Olumide Akpata was born on 7 October 1972 and attended the prestigious King’s College in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian bar on 15 December 1993 after obtaining his law degree from the University of Benin the previous year.
His law career started under the late Dr Mudiaga Odje (SAN) during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before joining Templars shortly after it was established.
He has spent over two decades practicing with Templars, and is currently Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial practice of Templars. He advises on various aspects of Nigerian Corporate and Commercial Law, including Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Law, Labour and Employment, Media entertainment, technology, and regulatory compliance.
He was elected as Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) council in January 2012, and subsequently as the Vice-chairman in August 2014, before emerging as the Chairman in August 2016.
After handing over to his successor, he still sits on the Council of the NBA-SBL and is also the Vice-Chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.
Back to the NBA elections: Other positions
Out of six candidates, John O Aikpokpo-Martins emerged as the first vice president with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo emerged 2nd Vice President with 8,794 votes defeating his only contender.
Other elected officers include Oduah Joyce, General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, welfare secretary.
More so, Anagor Raphael Nnamdi is the new Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) is Publicity Secretary; while Naza Ferdinand Afam is Assistant Publicity Secretary.
Lagos says Lake rice will soon be back in the market
The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture blamed flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic for the disappearance of Lake rice from the market.
The Lagos State Government has said that Lake rice, which is a collaboration between the Lagos State and Kebbi State Governments, is still in existence and will soon be back in the market on a big scale.
This follows the sudden disappearance of the Lake rice due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s devastating flooding, which wreaked havoc on rice plantations in Kebbi and other northern states.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, during a ministerial briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitting that 3 years of seamless record of providing the rice for Lagosians was broken last year, as the brand disappeared from the market.
What the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture is saying
Olusanya in her statement said, “It is not that Lake rice is missing to the extent that it will not surface again. Lake rice is still in existence. I think we need to go back to a lot of things that happened last year. Lake rice was available last year in January and February, COVID-19 hit us in March and subsequently, we had issues around flooding, particularly in Kebbi.
The impact of the flooding was grave on rice farms in the state. So, it is not so much about why it is not available, it is a function of why in the producing state there were so much issues of production and supply, for them to process and send to us,” she said.
The commissioner further stated, “Kebbi is the number one producer of rice in Nigeria, so it only makes sense for Lagos to partner with the state to get processed rice.
But part of the agreement also is that if Lagos State is setting up its own rice mill, the agreement is going to shift from receiving processed rice to receiving paddy rice for us to process in our mill. So, it’s not that the partnership has been terminated.”
She announced that once the state mill in Imota, Ikorodu is completed, the state would have its own brand adding that the 32 Metric tonnes per hour capacity integrated rice mill under construction is the biggest in Nigeria and in West Africa and at full capacity is capable of producing approximately 2.4 million (50kg) bags of rice for the over 22 million people in the state and for Nigerians as a whole.
Olusanya said that the mill will further create employment of approximately 267,580 jobs in the state at different stages of the value chain, reduce the cost of rice locally, enhance food self-sufficiency and revenue generation in the state and the country at large, as well as, ensure a sustainable supply of wholesome rice at an affordable price to the people in Lagos and its environs.
What you should know
The Lagos-Kebbi Rice christened Lake rice stemmed from the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi State Governments and was launched at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos on December 21, 2016, by the former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Kebbi State counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.
The partnership which culminated in the launch was not only designed to ensure food security but also to showcase Nigeria’s ability to become a rice-producing nation. The partnership was also part of initiatives aimed at helping Lagos State succeed in its goal of achieving 40% food security and self-sufficiency status by the year 2023 in addition to being less dependent on other states for food production.
CBN, others move to stop rejection of Nigerian crops by other countries
CBN, government agencies and private firms have moved to stop the rejection of crops produced in Nigeria by other nations.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), government agencies and private firms have moved to stop the rejection of crops produced in Nigeria by other nations.
This follows the adoption of appropriate technologies for the reduction of aflatoxin in our crops, food, feeds and livestock which is expected to help achieve zero rejection of commodities exported from Nigeria.
This disclosure is contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day workshop organised in Abuja by Harvest Field Industries Limited and IITA, aimed at sharing results of aflatoxin levels in maize sampled nationwide under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme 2020 Wet Season Project.
The workshop’s theme was ‘Scaling Solutions to Control Aflatoxin in Nigeria’s Crop Value Chain: The test results under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme 2020 Wet Season Project.’
What the CBN, IITA, Others are saying
The communique partly reads, “Also, it (the workshop) is to prompt concerted efforts towards the adoption of appropriate technologies for the reduction of aflatoxin in our crops, food, feeds and livestock as required by global food quality standards.
“Reduced aflatoxin prevalence will contribute tremendously towards achieving zero rejection of our export commodities and ensure food safety in Nigeria.”
Other participants at the workshop apart from CBN, IITA and Harvest Field, included the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
The list of participants in the workshop also includes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Federal Ministry of Health, Value Seeds Limited, Maize Association of Nigeria, National Groundnut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, among others.
During the technical session, participants at the workshop recommended that the inter-ministerial committee on aflatoxin regulation and enforcement of food safety laws in Nigeria should be revived in addition to calls for the enactment of technical policy regulating the testing and enforcement of allowable aflatoxin limits in food and feed processing and distribution industries, among others.
What you should know
Aflatoxins are harmful toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts. Their presence on some grains grown in Nigeria has prompted the rejection of these agro-products in the international market.
In a bid to diversify the economy and ensure food security in the country, the federal government through the CBN and other government agencies and ministries have introduced various policies and measures to increase productivity in the agricultural sector, which is arguably the largest employer of labour in the country.
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