LEGAL SENSE (Hint 36)
by ANSLAM C. AGIM, ESQ
“Channels of Settlement of Investment Disputes by Arbitration between an Investor and any Government of the Federation”.
In Nigeria, there are both Nigerian investors and Non-Nigerian (foreign) investors. It is inevitable that investment dispute may arise between the investors and any Government of the Federation (that is, either the Local Government, the State Government or the Federal Government).
Having envisaged the occurrence of investment dispute, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Decree (now, Act) was designed in order to promote investment and provide for channels of settling investment disputes through arbitration.
By virtue of Section 26 of Nigerian Investment Promotion Act, where a dispute arises between an investor and any Government of the Federation in respect of any enterprise, all efforts shall be made through mutual discussion to reach amicable settlement. But where amicable settlement through mutual discussion fails, then the dispute may be submitted, at the option of the aggrieved party to arbitration as follows:
- in the case of Nigerian investor, in accordance with the rules of procedure for arbitration as specified in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, or
- in the case of a foreign investor, within the framework of any bilateral or multilateral agreement on investment protection to which the Federal Government and the country of which the investor is a national are parties; or
- in accordance with any other national or international machinery for the settlement of investment disputes agreed on by the parties.
Where in respect of any dispute, there is disagreement between the investor and the Federal Government as to the method of dispute settlement to be adopted, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute Rules shall apply.
Legal Authority: Section 26 of Nigerian Investment Promotion Act, CAP. N117, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
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