By Ononye VC
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has thrown its weight behind the Igbo apprenticeship system (IAS) also known as ‘Igbaboi’ as part of efforts to develop and reform the legal profession in the country.
Speaking at the endowment launch for the ‘Igbaboi’ by Igbo lawyers under the umbrella of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, at the weekend, President of NBA, Yakubu Maikyau, who hailed the lawyers for the initiative, described the scheme as the best way to transfer skills, character and knowledge.
The endowment fund is a legacy project aimed at replicating the success of Ndigbo in business within the legal profession by institutionalising mentorship and career development for young lawyers.
Present at the event were former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the federation, Kanu Agabi, the Senator representing Anambra Central, Ben Obi, senior lawyers of Igbo extraction, among others.
While declaring NBA’s support for the initiative, Maikyau assured that the scheme would be expanded to become a national mentorship policy of the Federal Government.
He, however, pleaded that the model should not be limited to only lawyers of Igbo extraction.
He said: “If you are the best of lawyers without character, there is no way that intellect is going to transfer or translate into value. So, this is a mentorship model. Like I said, it is welcomed into our fold as lawyers; but please, let us not limit it to the Igbo. We should extend it to others. We should take it to the North and West, because this is something that is going to bring benefit to each and every one of us.
“So, as I congratulate you for coming up with this idea, this is something that has actually distinguished the Igbo nation across the world, and you can see how effective it has been to transform the Igbo nation to an enterprising nation. And that’s one thing you can’t take away from the Igbo.”
Maikyau stressed that the initiative is something that the NBA supports, noting that they will make a recommendation so that this becomes a national mentorship policy of the Federal Government.