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NBA Rolls Out Ways for Nigerian Lawyers to Access Loan in New Finance Scheme

NBA Roles Out Ways for Nigerian Lawyers to Access Loan in New Finance Scheme

President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has said that his administration is committed to fulfilling its electioneering campaign promises to members of the legal profession in Nigeria.

He said this in a missive to all members where he explained in detail how they could access loans to enhance their practice.

Mr Akpata said “I … campaigned on the importance of a savings culture and proper investment of our funds… I also mentioned that access to, and availability of, finance for lawyers is a major issue that requires institutional attention from the NBA.  I believe that unlocking access to capital for our deserving members is key to improving our law practices, increasing revenue generation for lawyers, and overall bettering our professional lives.”

He said his team has “set up the NBA Stabilisation Fund which we have already saved up and set aside the sum of N1billion for, and now commit to having up to N1.5billon (in the aggregate), at the minimum, deposited in the fund, over the next few months.”

Explaining how lawyers could access the loan, he laid down the following conditions:

Maximum amount available to each lawyer

This depends on a needs assessment and creditworthiness of the lawyer and will be agreed between the lawyer and the participating bank, but for proper risk management, will not exceed the sum of N2million per borrower.

Cash collateral provided by NBA

Up to N1.5billion linked to the NBA Stabilisation Fund

Tenor

Up to 3 years

Interest rate

9.5% per annum

Some loan conditions

Among other things, to be eligible, the lawyer will need to provide the following to the participating banks:

  • Evidence of payment of practising fees and NBA branch dues for three years (the year of application and the two years preceding that).
  • Signed but undated cheques from the lawyer’s bankers for the value of the amount borrowed.
  • A letter from the lawyer irrevocably domiciling his/her salaries, or law firm receivables with the participating bank.
  • A letter of good standing from the NBA.
  • A copy of call to Bar certificate of the borrower (in the case of an individual), or of the partners (in the case of a partnership).
  • A Global Standing Instruction to the participating banks to set off any amount owed on the balance of the lawyer both within the bank and in any other bank.
  • A credit insurance cover.

How to access the loan

Disbursements under the scheme will commence in January 2022.  Relevant contact details of the Access Bank and First Bank team members will be circulated in January 2022.

Before approaching either participating bank, be sure of the amount that you wish to borrow under the arrangement and of your ability to repay as and when due.

Read the offer letter and loan documents carefully.  Members of the NBA Finance Committee have agreed the general terms of the template offer letter with each participating bank, but lawyers should read through the terms themselves before making any commitments.

The NBA and the participating banks have agreed a tiered mechanism for enforcement in the event of default on the loan, which includes the possibility of deeming a default as professional misconduct.  As such, we encourage our members to borrow prudently and only for purposes that will help expand their operations, improve their practices, grow their revenues, and ultimately better their professional lives.

He promised that he NBA Finance Committee will circulate further correspondence regarding the Access to Finance Scheme in due course.

 

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