GIST WITH DRC!
ADR AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
By Chidimma Onyiaorah
We must acknowledge that Foreign Direct Investment is crucial to the growth and development of any economy. We must also recognize that our environment is most times stifling for genuine business investments.
Even though there has been steps by the government in encouraging ease of doing business, there is need for more work to be done especially in the area of resolution of disputes arising from commercial transactions and investment.
It is obvious that investors go to places where they are assured that their investments will be secured; and even in the event of any risk, the agreement can be made enforceable in the legal environment in which the business operates.
One of the keys to encouraging investments and business developments is to have an efficient and effective dispute resolution mechanism in place to facilitate resolution of such. Effective ADR mechanisms can bolster investor confidence in investing in a particular country or region. This will expedite the resolution of disputes and curb lengthy litigation at the courts which makes a country or region unattractive to international business community.
Unfortunately, in Nigeria, many of the disputes arising from commercial transactions are either taken to conventional courts or if ADR is used, they are settled abroad. This is not only damaging to the nation’s economic empowerment but also results to great loss to the revenues of the country.
There is therefore need to:
1. Put more efforts in positioning Nigeria as a neutral and favourable place for ADR.
2. More efforts to be made in elevating Alternate Dispute Resolution as a major element of the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
3. Encourage the utilization of Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Centres in Nigeria in resolving these disputes.
4. It is also of utmost importance to improve capacity of ADR practitioners, lawyers and the judiciary in resolution of dispute settlement.
Chidimma .I. Onyiaorah LL.B, BL, MCIArb, MICMC is Registrar, DRC-ACCI and contributes this piece from Dispute Resolution Centre of Abuja Chamber of Commerce