It is with joy that I write to you all today. I am grateful to our Maker for keeping us all alive and in health to witness a new year, the challenges of the past year and the attendant public health crisis notwithstanding. I believe that with lessons learnt, we will all come out stronger. I therefore wish you all the best that this year has to offer.
On Practising Fees
As you all know, with each new year comes the need to pay our Annual Bar Practising Fees (“BPF”) by all lawyers enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. This payment usually commences from 1st January and ends on 31st March every year. The same applies this year by virtue of Rule 9 (1) – (3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. I therefore ask that you all to pay the BPF within this period.
Benefits of Paying
Payment of your BPF is a requirement to maintain your practice licence, retain your name on the roll of legal practitioners, and to be in good standing. Extant laws make it a professional misconduct not to pay within the applicable period. But beyond the aforementioned, and in line with the promises I made to the Bar, upon payment of the BPF and Branch Dues as and when due, members will be entitled to two (2) free packs of stamp and seal (48 stamps in all). Other benefits of paying within the prescribed period include:
- Automatic Life Insurance cover of up to N2 million;
- Permanent/total disability insurance cover of up to N1 million; critical illness cover of up to N1million and a limited accidental medical expense cover;
- Being eligible for the health insurance, access to finance and other welfare programmes to be set up by the NBA;
- Meeting the eligibility requirements for Notary Public Application;
- Meeting the eligibility requirements for Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Application; and
- Eligibility for Letter of Good Standing from the NBA.
Further to the above, upon filing processes in our Courts, proof of payment of BPF is sufficient in lieu of the stamp and seal receipt. It is therefore important to retain proof of payment. For those who require additional stamps and seals, your local branch will afford you the requisite information relating thereto, which is indeed not different from what has always been done.
Please note that the provisions of Rule 10 of the Rules of Professional Conduct remain in force, and as such, the stamp and seal still remain a compulsory requirement for signing and filing legal documents.
Mode of payment and other relevant information
The mode of payment of BPF has changed. Payment can now only be made online. To pay, please click on this link https://nigerianbar.org.ng/nba/bpf/ and follow the instructions.
Considering that the BPF online payment process is new, we expect that there will be some teething problems and challenges, but we are taking note of all of them, and will work with our technical team to resolve them as quickly as possible.
Please note that payment of your BPF is different from payment of your branch dues which would need to be paid using the instructions provided by your branch.
Schedule of Fees Payable
The schedule of BPF per year of call is as follows:
- Senior Advocates & Honourable Benchers – N50,000
- Legal Practitioners of 15 Years & above post call – N25,000
- Legal Practitioners of 10-14 Years post call – N17,500
- Legal Practitioners 5-9 Years post call – N10,000
- Legal Practitioners of 1-4 Years post call – N5,000
Distinguished colleagues, the Bar is all that we have, and we must do all within our power to ensure that we continue to uphold the tenets of our profession. On our part, we will continue to make the Bar work for all.