INTRODUCTION

The Nigerian Bar Association Ilorin Branch Bar Blog and Social Media Committee was set up by the executive council of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilorin Branch in furtherance of its plans to improve dissemination of information of the Ilorin Branch of the NBA to its teeming members. Committee members were subsequently appointed vide a letter dated 31st day of July, 2018 addressed to members of the committee.

MEMBERS

AbdulRazak Daibu Chairman
Oluwaseye Adeboye Editor-in-Chief
Taofeeq Alatise Secretary
AbdulAfeez Muhammad Member
Muhammed Ayinla Edun Member
Adeyemi Oyedare Member
Usman Olufadi Member
Margaret Nwaokolo Member
Hussain Kolapo Onimago Member

TERMS OF REFERENCE

To open and operate the Branch internet blog for dissemination of information and news that will promote unite and good image of the Branch;
To open and operate official account of the Branch in the social media including Facebook, twitter, Instagram and link same with the existing WhatsApp groups.
To solicit for advertisement, sponsorship, goodwill messages and so on that are not in conflict with the motto of the Branch (promoting the Rule of Law)
To do any other matter(s) relating to the above.

COMMENCEMENT

The leadership of the committee scheduled several meetings both online and offline for a way forward with the responsibilities. At the core of these deliberations is the creation of a dedicated Blog for the Branch. It was agreed that the domain name ‘nbailorinvoice.com’ be purchased with a webhost company that would guarantee best services. It was also agreed that members of the Committee should contribute the fees required for setting up the blog, with an understanding and promise to reimburse members of the committee of their expenses by the Executive Council. The sum of N6,800 was used in purchasing the domain name and webhost for a duration of one year, while members dipped in their own pockets and experience for sundry expenses covering data subscriptions and logistics. The Branch Chairman has however promised a refund of the expenses.

THE BLOG RUNS

The blog https://nbailorinvoice.com was thus set up and running on the 10th day of September, 2018 as per the reference contained in the appointment letters issued to the committee. The committee also opened a Facebook page available at https://facebook.com/nbailorin/ as well as a twitter handle @ilorinNba also available at https://mobile.twitter.com/IlorinNba in satisfaction of the mandate contained in the said letter of appointment. The committee is still working on getting other social media accounts like YouTube and Instagram ready in due course.

REGISTRATION IS CRUCIAL

The blog https://nbailorinvoice.com has been launched with awareness being made to members to register their membership profiles on the blog and also interact with several options available on the blog which were all contained in the opening post published on the 10th day of September, 2018. As at the time of writing this report, about 40 members have registered their profiles so far, while the membership of the blog is under proper scrutiny to prevent non-eligible persons. Registration of members is crucial. Apart from increasing their online presence, it makes accessibility a lot easier and fascinating.

MODE OF OPERATION

Having created the blog, the committee has put in place modalities to keep it running. Some of these are:
Cause lists reportage
Information about the activities of the Branch
Publication of judgments from different courts
Publication of articles, opinions and commentaries.

The leadership of the committee has also given specific responsibilities to members of the committee over areas concerning the blog. Several features have been introduced to make the blog interactive, informative and educative at the same time. Members are therefore urged to explore the blog. The committee also appreciates the goodwill messages and comments being sent on the blog as it progresses with the work.

CHALLENGES

The success of the blog will go a long way into how much information the committee receives in carrying out its duties. Securing the cooperation of the Courts is central to the ability of the committee to discharge its responsibilities with respect to the cause lists and judgments publication. The committee is having difficulty in this area. The Registrars of courts are insisting on a directive from the leadership of the Judiciary to allow assigned members of the committee access to their cause lists.
Members of the committee are practically running the blog with their personal resources. Keeping the blog running every day means that a lot resources have been expended, including data subscription, time and energy.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To ensure a hitch-free reportage of cause lists, the committee suggests that the Executive Council of the NBA Ilorin should reach an understanding, and secure the commitment of the Judiciary. We believe if there is a formal cooperation between the Bar and the Bench, the duty of the committee would be more enhanced. There is also the need for the leadership of the NBA Ilorin to make financial provisions to the committee for the maintenance of the blog and other social media outlets. For instance, the yearly renewal of the domain name and the webhost is N10,000 in addition to the data usage by the members to keep the blog running.
The Committee requires the support of the NBA and its members on core issues as reportage of cause lists of different courts, active participation on the blog (using the forum) and also placing comments on posts, obtaining judgments from different courts and also getting content in form of opinions, articles, etc from members to boost the image of the Ilorin Bar.

CONCLUSION

The challenges are real, but the determination of the members of the committee to deliver is stronger. The activities put in place by the committee are such that will improve service delivery of the NBA Ilorin to its members. The support of the members of the Branch is therefore crucial in this regard. The committee appreciates the leadership of the NBA Ilorin for the opportunity to serve the Branch.

AbdulRazak Daibu Taofeeq Alatise
Chairman Secretary

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