LEGAL AND BOARD SECRETARIAT UNIT
The Legal and Board Secretariat (LBS) is a Unit under the Office of the Executive Secretary. Although the ETF was established in 1993, it was not until 2000 that the Legal Unit was set up. During the restructuring exercise by the Board of Trustees in 2006, the Legal Unit was renamed Legal and Board Secretariat Unit (LBS).
2.0 FUNCTIONS OF THE UNIT
The Unit is charged with the overall responsibility for all Legal and Board Secretariat matters of the Fund. The basic functions of the LBS are as follows:
2.1 Advising the Management and the Board of Trustees on all legal matters:
1. All operations of the Fund with legal consequences are forwarded by the Executive Secretary and Departments/Units handling such specific matter directly to the Legal and Board Secretariat for legal advice/input before appropriate recommendation is made by the Unit to the Executive Secretary or Board of Trustees for final approval.
2. Upon receipt of such requests, the Unit promptly addresses such issues and develops a legal opinion on same, or forwards the issue to the Fund’s external solicitors for further advice where necessary before it makes a final recommendation to the Executive Secretary.
2.2 Preparation/vetting of contract agreements involving the Fund and interpretation of legal instruments:
1. Matters involving the procurement of goods and services usually require formalization of the contract between the Fund and third parties where the obligations, conditions and liabilities of all parties are clearly defined. Such contractual documents must, under the supervision and guidance of the LBS, be executed by the Fund and the contracting party (ies).
2. All other Departments/Units also request the LBS to prepare the relevant agreements and letters of award of contract. In some cases, contractors awarded contracts by the Fund forward their draft contract agreement to the Fund. These draft agreements are directed to the LBS for vetting and to ensure that the legal interest of the Fund is adequately protected before final execution of the agreement.
3. The LBS is also responsible for drafting legal instruments such as standing orders for the Board meetings, Board resolutions and Bills for consideration by the National Assembly. The Unit also interprets and ensures compliance with extant rules and Acts passed by the Federal Government and National Assembly respectively.
2.3 Providing Secretarial services as well as logistic support to the Board of Trustees:
1. The LBS in collaboration with relevant Departments and Units makes adequate arrangement for all Board and Committee meetings. This entails notifying the board members of board meetings, preparing the allowance of all the Trustees as well as ensuring payment, arranging transportation to convey each trustee from his/her destination to the venue of the meeting.
2. At each Board meeting, the LBS ensures that all memos and reports from Departments, Units and Board Committee are collated, filed and circulated to each Trustee before the meeting.
3. At the end of the meeting, the LBS prepares Board Decision Extracts which are circulated to all Heads of Department and Unit for prompt implementation. The LBS also prepares and files all the approved minutes of the meetings of the Board of Trustees and handles all correspondence on their behalf.
2.4 Liaising with the Fund’s External Solicitors to ensure adequate handling of Court cases in which the Fund is a party:
1. It is the duty of the LBS to prepare issues of law that eventually forms the Claims or Defence of the Fund to be filed as briefs by the external solicitors before the relevant Courts of law. The LBS also obtains certified true copies of judgments, orders/injunctions either for or against the Fund. It also ensures that all such judgements, orders/injunctions are immediately complied with.
2. It further ensures the prompt and adequate payment of professional fees to the external solicitors as at when due.
Furthermore, the Board of Trustees at its 69th meeting approved the engagement of another Law Firm preferable a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
2.5 Performing other duties as assigned by the Executive Secretary:
1. The Executive Secretary at his sole discretion may forward matters which are not necessarily legal in nature but which he feels could be best handled and determined by the LBS such as, preparation of speeches and drafting of responses to letters addressed to him directly.