The Legal Organisation: My Experience at Nigerian Ports Authority

June 2019, I embarked on my compulsory six months internship at the Nigerian Ports Authority, where I would learn the intricacies of my course. During the course of the program, I encountered what I’d call a legal organisation. A lot of new startups embark on the journey of their business to grow them into successful businesses we see today, without having a legal organisation by their sides. The first time I was made to visit the legal department at the Nigerian Ports Authority, I was surprised. This is a big company and they were quite ready in their legal department. It shows how important it’s to have legal in place if you want your companies to succeed. It’s one of the many mistakes many new business owners make. Because to them, legal organisation is supposed to be the last option or come when there’s an actual legal case but legal, is meant to draft whatever is important to keep the business up and running, first before other things follow. There should be legal knowledgeable lawyers to educate many business owners and aspiring business owners on the impact of legal organisation at the start of their business. It helps to get everything ready.

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In Nigerian Ports Authority, there was a legal unit by the side to help them navigate their legal status. To help them deliberate on any situations when they are ready to be harnessed. To help them do their legal biddings, be held accountable internally when things are not done right rather than investing all hopes on freelance legals. For a lot of large organisations, they have already planned how to run their organisation successfully and scale whatever is on their way which is unlike small ones. It’s why large organisations keep getting big while the smaller ones continue getting small. It’s not any other thing more than, lackadaisical attitudes. If you want growth, plan to make it happen. Don’t wait for it to happen. Why are lesser organisations not with these lines of thoughts to get their companies up and running? Instead of waiting until they are slammed with lawsuits? Or until there is a little mistake before they start looking for legals?!

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For many small startups in Nigeria, they are not pushing their business forward because they didn’t get the business right from the onset, especially placing the legal organisation in consideration. It’s why many small businesses will keep failing while large ones are blossoming.

How important is legal in whatever business you are handling? It’s very important if you want to run a successful business. Get everything available, in case there is an incoming problem later on, in the future. Be alert. Stay woke.

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