Osinbajo urges business practitioners to embrace arbitration

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has urged business practitioners to embrace commercial arbitration for the desired speed in dispute resolution to attract international investors.

Osinbajo made the plea in a message to the opening of the First International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Regional Conference on Monday in Lagos.

The vice president, who was represented by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, said that dispute resolution mechanism was a factor in all investments’ decisions.

He said that dispute resolution constituted a significant determinant of a country’s ranking in doing business, adding that disputes were common in business environment.

“Every prudent society must design and constantly draw the processes through which disputes could be resolved in an amicable manner.

“In the world of today, commercial arbitration is now recognised as a preferred method of solving several commercial disputes.

“Arbitration is now seen as not only possessing the desired speed but also aggregating competency and often times, relationship is tied to this process,” Osinbajo said.

He, however, urged conference participants to take time in addressing critical issues which would expand legal arbitration as a desired tool for dispute resolution in Nigeria.

Also speaking, the President, of ICC, Alexis Mourre, commended Nigeria for hosting the first Africa Regional Arbitration Conference.

Mourre said that with more engagements and interactions on arbitration, commercial practitioners would recognise the arbitration; just like common law and civil laws.

He said that ICC was one of the institutions which adopted arbitration, adding that 70 per cent of world arbitration came from ICC.

Mourre said that more people were needed in Africa to adopt arbitration.

“Arbitration is booming in Africa. No future of arbitration without African arbitration. Yet it is still difficult to find good arbitrators in Africa.

“We hope that at the end of the conference, we will be seeing more arbitrators in Africa,” Mourre said.

The Chairman, Planning Committee, Nigeria ICC, Dorothy Ufot, said that the theme of the three-day event, scheduled to hold from June 19 to June 21, is “Arbitration and Africa: Prospects and Challenges”.

She said that the planning committee came up with the idea as a result of Africa being the next major destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) by the international community.

Ufot urged the international community to support Africa’s efforts to promote economic growth and investments.

She said that the interest of investors across the continent was so numerous that oil mining companies were looking forward to developing natural resources.

“The investors are also interested in infrastructure, technology, agri-business, consumer goods and manufacturing companies that would create sustained growth and create jobs and improved livelihood.

“There is no how commercial disputes will not arise during the processes and the conference aims at setting background for their resolution,” Ufot said.

According to her, ICC Nigeria is an affiliate of ICC Headquarters in Paris.

She said that ICC in Paris had ICC International Court of Arbitration as one of its operational arms.

Ufot commended organisations that supported the Nigeria ICC Conference such as Global Network, Dangote Company, NBA, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Nigerian Ports Authority, among others.

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