Nigeria to host 1st Africa Regional Arbitration Conference

The Nigeria International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is set to host the first Africa Regional Arbitration Conference in Lagos to boost foreign investments in emerging markets in Africa.

The Chairman of the planning committee, Mrs Dorothy Ufot, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.

Ufot said that the theme of the 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 effort 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 improve 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.

She said that the conference would give insight and valuable analysis on the latest developments in Arbitration and the need to always explore ICC Arbitration as a globally- accepted means of settling disputes.

Ufot said that the conference would be focusing on the relationship between the Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Africa as well as ways to tackle disputes that could arise during the investments processes.

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

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

Ufot recalled that ICC was established in 1919 in Paris, which was one of the largest business organisations in the world with over six million companies and chambers of commerce and business associates in more than 130 countries including Nigeria.

“ICC Nigeria is a district and an independent body in the sense that, it provides a platform for members to tap international best practices and opportunities within the 130 countries.

“The ICC Commission usually concentrates on issues of trade and investment, technical and sectoral subjects such as Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Commercial Law, Customs, Trade and Banking Techniques,’’ she said.

Ufot said that the conference is expecting more than 100 young lawyers and some members of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) with a token fee to encourage them on arbitration.

She said that an Arbitrator was not limited to a lawyer, saying that people from other disciplines could also become Arbitrators, after having basic knowledge of the profession.

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

NAN/Nnenna.O