CIArb Nigeria Celebrates Assent to Arb. and Med. Act, Launches Cost Calculator to Boost Arbitration
May 31, 2023
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria Branch) is proud to announce two significant developments that will shape the future of arbitration in Nigeria. Today, we celebrate the assent to the Arbitration and Mediation Act, signifying a major milestone in our legal landscape. Additionally, we are delighted to introduce the CIArb Nigeria Cost Calculator, a ground-breaking tool that revolutionizes cost assessment in arbitration.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, I stand before you with great pleasure and excitement to announce a significant milestone in the legal landscape of our nation. On Friday, 26th May 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, assented to the Arbitration and Mediation Act.
This remarkable achievement is the culmination of a long and arduous process that began in 2005. It all started with the establishment of the National Committee on the Reform and Harmonization of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Laws, under the leadership of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, C. Arb. I would like to acknowledge the late Honourable Justice Olakunle Joseph Orojo, C. Arb, who chaired this committee. In 2006, after extensive deliberations, the committee produced two bills: the Federal Arbitration and Conciliation Bill and the Model Uniform Arbitration Bill for the States. To date, only Lagos, Rivers, and Delta States have passed the Model Uniform Arbitration Bill into law. However, after a long wait, the Bill 2006 finally received assent on 26th May 2023.
In 2017, the Arbitration Community, led by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch, initiated another crucial step in this journey by forming a committee for the reform of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1988. Their diligent efforts resulted in the drafting of the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill 2017. Although this bill was passed by the Senate on 1st February 2018, we identified several defects and ensured it was not passed by the House of Representatives in the 8th Assembly. I must acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Y C Maikyau, SAN, FCIArb, the present President of the Nigerian Bar Association, who served as a facilitator during this process.
In 2018, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted the Model Law on International Commercial Mediation, replacing the 2002 Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation. Moreover, on 20th December 2018, the UN Convention on the Enforcement of International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the Singapore Convention, was adopted by the UN. In light of these global developments, we revised the bill in 2019 and renamed it the Arbitration and Mediation (A&M) Bill, 2019.
On 23rd July 2020, the A&M Bill, 2019 was passed by the House of Representatives, followed by its passage in the Senate on 10th May 2022 with immense assistance and contributions from the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch Chief Gbola Akinola, SAN, C. Arb, and Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. Once again, Mr. Y C Maikyau, SAN, played a vital role as a facilitator.
Regrettably, the Ministry of Justice raised several concerns regarding the 2022 version of the bill and advised the President to withhold assent. However, these issues were diligently addressed, and the 2022 Bill, now the 2023 version, was resubmitted to the National Assembly in April 2023. I am delighted to inform you that the 2023 version was transmitted to the President in May 2023 and received his assent on the 26th of May 2023.
Today, we express our deepest gratitude to the Committee led by Mrs. Funmi Roberts, C. Arb, who worked tirelessly to ensure the successful passage of the Bill. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, C.Arb, Prof. Paul Idornigie, SAN, C.Arb, Mr. Mohammed Dele Belgore, SAN, C.Arb, Mr. Olatunde Busari, SAN, C.Arb, Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour SAN, C.Arb, Mrs. Miannaya Essien, SAN, C.Arb, Mr. Adeyemi Candide-Johnson, SAN, FCIArb, Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN, FCIArb, Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN, FCIArb, Mrs. Sola Adegbonmire, C.Arb, Mr. Richard Akintunde, SAN, C.Arb, Mrs. Oyinkansola Badejo-Okusanya, FCIArb, Mr. Seyilayo Ojo, C.Arb, Mr. Isaiah Bozimo, FCIArb, Mr. Henry Chibor, FCIArb, Mr. Adewale Jones, FCIArb, Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere, SAN, ACIArb, Mr. Emmanuel Dike FCIArb, Mrs. Kemi Eweje, FCIArb, and Mrs. Caroline Etuk. Their expertise and dedication were instrumental in shaping the Act.
I would like to extend a special appreciation to Mr. Yakubu C. Maikyau, SAN, FCIArb, for his invaluable efforts in navigating our path into the National Assembly, ultimately leading to the passage of the Act. Prof. Paul Idornigie, SAN, C. Arb, also deserves our sincere gratitude for his tireless work alongside me to ensure that the Bill received the President's assent. Interestingly, Prof. Idornigie, SAN, and I were members of the Orojo Committee back in 2005. This means that we have been involved in this Bill since its inception, and today, we witness its realization.
We would also like to express our gratitude to all those who generously contributed their time and resources towards the passage of this Act. It is through the collaborative efforts of many individuals and organizations that we have achieved this momentous occasion.
Today, in conjunction with the assent to the Arbitration and Mediation Act, we are thrilled to introduce the CIArb Nigeria Cost Calculator. This innovative tool is designed to revolutionize cost assessment in arbitration, addressing the need for transparency and efficiency. With arbitration proceedings often associated with substantial costs, it is essential for parties to have a comprehensive understanding of the financial implications involved. The CIArb Nigeria Cost Calculator provides the arbitration community with a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of calculating arbitration fees.
Utilizing the Cost Calculator is quick and straightforward. By visiting our website at www.ciarbnigeria.org/costcalculator, parties can enter the relevant details of the dispute, including the amount in dispute and the number of arbitrators required. With just a few clicks, the Cost Calculator generates the estimated fees, offering parties an accurate estimate in a matter of minutes. This tool empowers parties to make informed decisions, promoting transparency and enhancing cost-effective dispute resolution for businesses.
The CIArb Nigeria Cost Calculator represents a significant advancement in promoting transparency and cost efficiency in arbitration. By leveraging this cutting-edge tool, parties gain valuable insights into the financial aspects of their case, enabling them to make informed decisions that align with their resources and objectives. We are proud to provide the arbitration community with this invaluable resource, further solidifying our commitment to professionalism and excellence in alternative dispute resolution.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to members of the Committee involved in ensuring that we have in place an effective and efficient cost calculator. The Committee was Chaired by Prof. Adewale Olawoyin, SAN, FCIArb. Other members of the Committee were Mrs. Olusola Adegbonmire, C.Arb, Mr. Seyilayo Ojo, C.Arb, Mrs. Yejide Osunkeye, FCIArb and Ms. Chinelo Agbala.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this remarkable achievements.
The enactment of the Arbitration and Mediation Act and the launch of the CIArb Nigeria Cost Calculator marks significant milestones in Nigeria’s legal system and reinforces our dedication and commitment to facilitating and providing tools for fair, efficient, and accessible dispute resolution in Nigeria.
Together, let us embrace this Act as a catalyst for progress, fostering a culture of mediation and arbitration in our nation.
CIArb Nigeria is the leading arbitration institute in Nigeria, dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in alternative dispute resolution. Through our training, education, and accreditation programs, we foster capacity building and serve as a hub for networking and knowledge-sharing among professionals in the arbitration community.