MY HUMBLE THOUGHTS ON BAYO AKINLADE’S “Is Law Pavilon the Only Law Reporting Company In Nigeria?” ARGUMENT

By Sylvester Udemezue


I am not speaking for the NBA or for Law Pavillon. However, with due respect, my learned colleague, Bayo Akinlade’s argument in re NBA’s continued retention or renewal of NBA’s contract with Law Pavilon appears almost wholly groundless.

There’re many providers,no doubt. But how reasonably practicable would it be fir the NBA to use all of them for one particular transaction.

Think about it. See these analogies!

1. There are many banks in Nigeria. But does Supreme Court need to open one account in each Bank (and then give out about 25 Bank accounts) for purposes only of payment of Bar Practicing Fee?
Does it make any business sense?
Is it even reasonable?
Is it not okay if the supreme court opens just one account in one bank for this purpose?

2. There’re many car manufacturers and assembly plants but if for example the Presidency has an existing/a standing agreement with, say, Innoson Motors for supply to all members of the PRESIDENCY, are you saying that the Presidency should spread the car supply contract to involve all car manufacturers at the same time: Benz, BMW, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Altima, Honda, Volvo, Vox Wagen, etc? Or that Innoson Motors should supply this year, while Toyota takes over after Which Volvo, then Vox Wagen, then Honda, Peugeot, Benz, BMW, and so on? How awkward does that not sound?
What are we even talking about?

3. Bayo Akinola’s suggestion could
also be likened to a situation where a Company has had its head office in a particular RENTED APARTMENT in Lagos, under a subsisting LEASE, renewable periodically, say yearly, and someone is now asking, “Why does the company have to remain in one building and renewing the lease every year? Is that building the only building in Lagos? Why not the company try another landlord’s house or that perhaps the company should spread its staff members or departments across all the houses in Lagos so that other house owners in Lagos could have an opportunity of also collecting rents from the Company! What an argument!

We all know how these things work. There’s no need to get all suppliers involved in just one transaction! Besides, many factors go into negotiating and concluding contracts of such nature. And once settled, the client just makes every efforts to sustain the existing relationship for greater efficiency and effectiveness especially in view of the subsidy! I still recall the strenuous efforts and complex procedures that had reportedly gone into the process of this engagement during the Paul Usoro leadership which initiated this scheme.
Now, after the rigors, you want the NBA to start new negotiations all afresh with a different provider instead of merely renewing an existing deal?

4. Further, every organisation chooses who it buys a product from after taking Into consideration many factors in the best interest of its members and its pocket aside the question of convenience.

Then, what about the need for uniformity?
What if the NBA sends some lawyers to other providers, and the question arises as to some lawyers prefering a different product to the one given to them? How do you resolve this? How many years does an NBA leadership have to execute it’s manifesto? You want them to expend the whole period settling grievances arising from just one transaction?

5. Then, have you forgot that it’s the higher the number purchased, the lower the unit price. In other words, rate of subsidy depends mostly on the quantity purchased. And so many other factors!
Please, I think NBA should continue with existing suppliers unless or until the suppliers fail to provide satisfactory services to NBA members. NBA leadership has far more pressing problems facing NBA and Nigerian lawyers (and yearning for urgent attention) than getting itself needlessly entangled and therefore held down or distracted by starting and negotiating new contracts with multiple providers of e-law reports or in resolving complex challenges that may arise from implementing what respected Bayo Akinlade is suggesting.
This is my humble opinion, please.
Thank you, Bayo.
Thank you, NBA!
I’m Sylvester Udemezue (Udems)