Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sawoolu has asserted that Alternative Dispute Resolution, through the Citizens Mediation Centres and the Multi-Door Court House, has been very effective in settling issues that would have ended in acrimonious litigation.
He disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Annual Conference and Gala nite of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, CIA, (UK) Nigeria Branch themed “Positioning Africa: The Changing Landscape in Alternative Dispute Resolution” and held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island Lagos on Thursday.
The Governor, who was represented at the event, by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, said “we believe we can achieve much more with the establishment of more ADR Centres and increased public awareness advocacy”.
Sanwo-Olu noted that in the very near future the number of dispute resolutions arising from business transactions will most likely increase as a result of the expected trade activities from the newly signed Africa Continental Trade Agreement, stressing the need to plan ahead by strengthening the capacity of ADR Institutions to ensure smooth and quick resolution of the anticipated increase in the number of disputes.
He, however, commended the CIA Nigeria branch, the organisers of the event, for their tenacity in promoting the ADR option through the annual conference platform since 1999.
While appreciating the vision and foresightedness of the CIA, the Governor opined that the theme of the conference will provide another opportunity for the stakeholders to appreciate the increasing relevance of ADR in the justice delivery system, especially against the backdrop of recent and unfolding events, not only in Africa but also in the global arena.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. Olatunde Busari, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Chairman of CIA, Nigeria Branch, stated that the objective of the conference, which was witnessed by 600 delegates from more than seven countries, was to provide participants with practical arbitration experience in a reliable manner.
He revealed that members of the Institute have, recently, continued to excel in various fields with nine of its members elevated to the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.