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Congratulations to all those cleared by the Electoral Committee to contest for various positions in NBA Lagos Branch. I congratulate you all for crossing that hurdle.

Occupying public office comes with a lot of responsibilities on you with varying expectations from those you have come to serve, yes, come to serve & not to be served.

With our expectations therefore gives me the hope that you are coming with the intent & purpose of service.

There’s no room for learning on the job as your tenure is too short a period to learn on the job.

In coming, how well do you understand the functions and responsibilities tied to the office you are vying for?

What are the fault lines you are coming to correct.

I recall being appointed into a committee to look into the finances of Late Baderinwa tenure in 2010 based on a petition by the Secretary of that tenure Mr. Ameafule. The committee was chaired by the revered Mr. Shadipe, had Mr. Zik Obi, Mazi Unegbu, Marian Jones and yours truly.

My membership of that committee opened my eyes to a lot of systemic anomalies which prompted my decision to contest for the office of Financial Secretary in the 2011 election.

For the two years (2011/2013) I moved the Exco to change a lot of things regarding our financial documentation & information gathering:

Back then, you go to our Bar Centre & if you look in the drawer of our Admin staff you will meet as much as #250,000 cash in the Admin Staff’s drawer. Many times branch funds were lost in these circumstances & nothing happened. The solution was to stop cash payment of branch dues and that was achieved within months of our tenure.

Before then the Branch maintained a single branch dues receipt and you see branch dues receipt & Law Week payment receipt among others in same receipt booklet. Towards election as we are now receipt booklets will get missing and you see all manners of Branch Dues receipt surface for the purpose of election.

Solution, two receipt booklets were introduced in the second year of our two years tenure, a receipt booklet for all income except Branch dues and another receipt booklet strictly for Branch dues and these receipt booklets were carefully monitored to the extent that when a booklet was unaccounted for, the entire 50 leaves numbers are flagged and pulled out. In fact this action gave rise to the extra ordinary general meeting of the Branch that held in 2013 (if you know you know).

It was in that tenure that most people became aware of and appreciated the powers of a Financial Secretary of the Branch.

What am I driving at here?
First study the Branch, the bye-laws, the position you are vying for and what you are coming in to serve.

A lot come into office without an idea of where they are going and what solution they are bringing to the table instead of just coming to occupy the seat & enrich their CV.

We have the capacity & the platform, just committed and dedicated leadership that is needed and you are here to provide that.

Thank you & good luck as you go deeper into the trenches while I continue to mind my business.

I remain,
Philips Njeteneh