Legal Nigeria

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Nigeria Branch chairperson Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour has called for a review of outdated laws on arbitration.According to her, developing Nigeria into a favoured arbitration centre would enhance economic development.She spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, during the institute’s annual conference.According to Mrs Rhodes-Vivour, if Nigeria must take its rightful place as a preferred seat of arbitration and an investor-friendly country, the legislative regime for arbitration must be in line with best practices.

Nigeria, she said, needed to adopt modern arbitration frameworks that allow for multiple practice, consolidation of proceedings, concurrent hearings, emergency proceedings, enforcement of interim measures/procedural orders, among others.“It is long overdue for Nigeria to conduct a comprehensive review of all legislations which impact negatively on Nigeria’s attractiveness as an arbitration seat. Developing Nigeria into a favoured place of arbitration will enhance our country’s growth and economic development,” she said.The conference featured a special session to strategise with oil industry experts to create effective ways to apply alternative dispute resolution in resolving disputes in the industry.Mrs Rhodes-Vivour said the turbulence in the hydrocarbon industry would require effective and expeditious resolution of disputes in assuaging the effects of the downturn in the oil market.She said Singapore’s economy, for instance, grew partly due to an effective arbitration system as businesses easily resolved their disputes amicably out of court.Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who gave the keynote address, decried double standards in the fight against corruption.“We are on our way to anarchy if we encourage or allow law enforcement agencies the latitude to abuse the fundamental rights of our citizens under the guise of fighting corruption. We also think that the Federal Government must hold every public officer, and indeed, every one of us, to the same standards of accountability,” he said.Chief Judge of Rivers State Adama Iyayi-Laminkara said the judiciary recognised the importance of arbitration and would encourage it.Rivers Attorney-General Mr Emmanuel Aguma said his ministry had trained lawyers and judges on arbitration.The conference also had sessions on emergency arbitration proceedings, third party funding, effects of modern technology/innovation, entertainment disputes, the role of mediators in modern forms of disputes such as terrorism and insurgency.Source: The Nation

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