LCA Advocates Alternative Dispute Resolution to Promote FDI
The Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) has called on Nigerian businesses to embrace arbitration and mediation in resolving their commercial disputes, saying it is faster than litigation which takes not less than 6 months and up to 7 years for cases to be resolved.
Addressing the media recently during a roundtable held in Lagos, the Chief
Executive of Lagos Court of Arbitration, Ms Megha Joshi, said that arbitration and mediation, a new and modern legal framework for the speedy resolution of commercial disputes, will encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. According to her, the adoption of the alternative dispute resolution platform will make commercial disputes to be quickly resolved, thereby encouraging investment into the country.
She further said that the magnitude of commercial activities in the country, including cross-border transactions and the fact that business managers worldwide agree that arbitration is faster and more efficient, makes it imperative for businesses to include arbitration clauses in their contractual agreements.
“Arbitration is faster and more efficient route for commercial dispute resolution and allows for more control from the parties involved,” Joshi said, adding that increase in arbitration activities in the world gave rise to the Lagos Court of Arbitration Law 2009 from which the LCA derives its backing.
Also speaking at the roundtable, Fabian Ajogwu, a board member of LCA, indicated that there are about 52 high courts in Lagos and over 100 magistrates, but they cannot handle fast enough the avalanche of cases before them.
“There are over 15,000 cases at the Court of Appeal alone,” he said, adding that the alternative dispute resolution of arbitration and mediation is more flexible and useful for businesses.
“In arbitration you can choose your judge, which is different from litigation and normal court cases. It is party driven, that is, the parties involved will agree on a neutral arbitrator to look at the dispute from which a binding decision is given”, he said.