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NBA Signs MoU With Access Bank, First Bank To Help Lawyers Access Funds

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with First Bank of Nigeria and Access Bank, to assist Lawyers who may require loans to meet their working capital and operational needs.

The signing of the MOU is in line with the NBA’s access to finance scheme for members as promised by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, during the NBA electioneering campaign in 2020. The scheme will enable eligible Lawyers to borrow from the two designated commercial banks.

“We are standing in the gap with the bank, on behalf of our members. We all know what access to finance can do for any business, and law is a business. Access to finance will help increase the capacity of our members, and help expand their businesses and do more. These are tough times for the economy, and we know that with little extra money we will be able to achieve our objectives”, Akpata said after signing the MOU.

The NBA President said the scheme is open to every financial member of the Association, who is up to date in the payment of dues. The scheme is structured to enable borrowings of up to N2 million by NBA members, at an interest rate of 9%. The loan has a tenor of up to three years, he said.

To be eligible for the loan, the Lawyer will need to provide the participating banks with 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), among other requirements.

The maximum amount available to each Lawyer 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.

On the risk of members not paying back the loans, Akpata said measures have been put in place to mitigate the risk. One such measure is that the scheme is backstopped or cash-backed by up to N1.5 billion linked to the NBA Stabilisation Fund.

“Even with best intentions, even if the individual means to pay back, anything can happen. So, we have put structures in place to ensure that; this is why we are standing in the gap, it’s all about risk allocation. NBA is carrying some risk, the bank is carrying some risk, the individual is carrying some risk”, Akpata said.

“I think we have had it pretty much worked out. We want to approach this with that mindset that, since we have done our homework, all will be well”, he said.

To borrow under the Scheme:

Step 1 – An interested member is to obtain a Letter of Good Standing from his or her branch of the NBA.

Step 2 – Such member is to apply to the NBA Secretariat Abuja, by email to [email protected] for a Letter of Loan Eligibility.

The application shall be accompanied by the Letter of Good Standing issued by the applicant’s branch of the NBA.

Step 3 – Upon issuance of Letter of Eligibility, the NBA would provide the loan documents (as provided by either of the Banks) to its interested member.

Step 4 – The Member shall complete the relevant forms and submit them to either of the Banks for processing.

Step 5 – The Bank selected by the prospective borrower will reconfirm the genuineness and eligibility of the member with the NBA before the request is processed.

Step 6 – The Member shall provide the relevant KYC documents as required by the Bank on its checklist for processing

Step 7 – Upon provision of the relevant KYC documents, the Bank shall review the documents to determine the credit history and also establish the amount the member can borrow subject to a maximum borrowing amount of N2million for each member.

Step 8 – Each qualified member will sign an offer letter and other relevant documentation with respect to the loan (e.g his repayment structure/plan) as determined by the Bank.

Step 9 – Upon fulfilment of the foregoing, the Loan shall be disbursed.

Interested members can reach out to the following for the processing of their loans.

Nkechinyere Nkoju- Relationship Manager [email protected] 08138007031

Mojisola Williams – Relationship Manager [email protected] 08028071122

Victor Jakpa – Business Manager [email protected] 08033086833

Adedolapo Adeyemi: 0816 420 6334

Oluwabukola Oyinloye: 0703 130 2803

[email protected]

The scheme will kick off on the 1st day of June 2022.

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