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Akwa Ibom lawyers tasked on mergers to spur growth, create opportunities

Former President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Udom Inoyo, has called for the merger of law firms in Akwa Ibom State saying the trend where every individual lawyer sought to operate as a sole proprietorship was inimical to the growth of the profession.

Inoyo, a former vice-chairman, boards of Exxonmobil affiliates in Nigeria, also announced plans for capacity building in diverse areas of law and the economy for lawyers in the state.

He said the first phase of the training programme, which would be physical and virtual, would cover areas like project finance, concepts of arbitration in construction contracts, energy regulation, aviation law and opportunities in the oil, gas and energy space, among others.

He stated this in a keynote address “Akwa Ibom State: The legal profession and emerging global economy”delivered at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Uyo branch week, recently that “It takes a lot to build a viable business, especially in our clime, so I hope you will take advantage of the knowledge sharing opportunity. However, to make this learning optimal, it may be worthwhile for you to begin to explore merging some of the law offices as opposed to the prevalent practice of everyone running his/her little law firm. Remember, there is strength in unity and prospects in diversity,” he said.

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Inoyo, who at present is Advisor, Inoyo Toro Foundation, also demanded increased opportunities in Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAS) and in federal public service for indigenes of the state. “There must be a meaningful engagement of MDAS in the state to unlock opportunities and mitigate exposures. Officials must know the critical importance of engaging a lawyer in the conceptualisation of programs and projects and not only when a problem emerges.

“There must be a deliberate policy to inject our people into the federal service,and this also includes such agencies as Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Commission (NCDMB) just as I appeal to our young ones to be daring to seek opportunities outside the state. You can compete and win. So go for it.

“The world has changed and only those who can compete in the marketplace will win. So, placing our people in federal ministries and agencies must be done deliberately and credibly otherwise it will not be of much value. We want those who are qualified and can compete with the very best from other states and not those merely favoured by political godfathers,” he said.

Inoyo also tasked the bar to use its enormous reach and pedigree to support and push for the improvement of the fortunes of judges.

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