If the country must make a headway in its current effort at reviewing its arbitration laws, the call has been made to the National Assembly (NASS) to bring in inputs from the office of the attorney general of the federation. This call was made by Shola Oshodi-John, Registrar/CEO, Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICA) adding that that the country must review its current and existing arbitration laws if Nigeria must meet the challenges of economic changes.
The registrar, NICA explained to Armada after a hearing in Abuja, recently, as part of its contribution to ongoing hearing at the National Assembly with a view to reworking the existing laws guiding arbitration matters in the country. The Nigeria Institute of Chartered Arbitrators is the premier arbitration institute in Nigeria founded in 1979 under the leadershipof former Attorney General of Nigeria and former judge of the World Court at The Hague, Bola Ajibola, SAN and duly incorporated in 1988 under the Companies Act as a legal entity Limited by Guarantee.
“There is a need to review the laws to improve the practice of arbitration, conciliation and other conflict resolution mechanisms,” Oshodi said. Though there is a bill currently at NASS, NICA is of the opinion that the law focuses more on 1990 laws. “The Senate needs to look at all other Acts and try to harmonize it to ensure that whatever reviews or amendments or additions are made will put together all the other Acts,” the registrar stated.
She further reiterated that the Senate Committee may need to invite guidance on the constitutional basis of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act from the Federal Ministry of Justice to ensure that the draft bill to repeal and re-enact the Arbitration and Conciliation Act has a strong basis in law. She also presented the view of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators that arbitration matters must be handled in Nigeria to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the benefits that accrue from an effective practice of arbitration within her shores.