Over the past few days, many lawyers have requested for an extension of the deadline for payment of Bar Practising Fees due to the recent global state of events and stay at home orders being directed by various State Governments. 
The cause for this call is no other than the pandemic which is currently putting the world on mandatory holiday. It is argued that some practitioners may not be able to adequately provide for themselves, let alone afford the practising fees at this time when the courts and their chambers are closed.

However, the truth is that the NBA President, Paul Usoro SAN really cannot do anything about it. Many lawyers may be unaware but the provision for payment of Bar Practice Fees is provided in Rule 9 of the RPC.

Furthermore, Article 4 (1) (b) of the NBA Constitution also stipulates that Bar Practice Fees be paid by end of March for lawyers to enjoy the full membership benefits of the NBA, including having right of audience in court and right to vote and be voted for at the NBA Elections.

Therefore, if the deadline were to be postponed, it will require an amendment of the NBA Constitution which can only be effected at the Annual General Meeting of the NBA. More so, calling an extraordinary AGM is also impossible in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawyers should also note that the
NBA does not have the power to amend the Rules of Professional conduct, only the Bar Council has.

The valid date for the Annual Payment of Practice Fees of Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) is between Ist January to the 31st of March every year and due to the foregoing, lawyers are encouraged to take advantage of the online payment options here