President of BRIPAN, Mr. Anthony Idigbe
By Davidson Iriekpen
Business Recovery Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) involved in advocacy for insolvency law, has advocated for the creation of a well articulated regulatory regime to forestall the impact of the global economic meltdown on the Nigeria economy.
The association also urged regulators in the financial sector to be proactive in handling global issues.
President of BRIPAN, Mr. Anthony Idigbe, expressed the view of the association during a press briefing in Lagos to herald the association’s international workshop scheduled for June 7 and 8 as well as it fellowship workshop fixed for May 29 and 30inn Lagos.
He said if policy makers in the country were proactive in putting in place a regulatory regime, the effects of the global economic meltdown that almost brought the financial sector to its knees, might not have had much impact to the domestic economy.
According to Idigbe, if this is not done, Nigeria might be worst hit by any economy ‘Tsunami’ as being witnessed in some European countries despite the assurances of the government.
The commercial insolvency lawyer said BRIPAN, which is made up of people with experience in insolvency, had already developed a curriculum that would help in this regard through the forthcoming workshop.
The workshop, which has as its theme: “Insolvency and Economic Development Particularly in an Emerging Economy”, Idigbe said would draw policy makers, regulators and private practitioners around Nigeria and Africa to share insolvency and restructuring reform experiences and challenges in their region.
"The focus of this workshop will relate to various schools and professional standards that can be implemented to help in economic development in emerging economy, with the intent to preserve value in distressed businesses and improve stakeholders’ returns on outstanding loans."
He expressed BRIPAN’s readiness to partner government and other interest groups to see how further Nigeria system could be improve to ensure that insolvency or global melt down had limited impact on the nation’s economy.
“BRIPAN has consistently be reaching out to all government institution like the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)- which deals with banking insolvency, other institutions like Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Ministry of Justice, which is very pivotal to the issue of our own legislative agenda," he said.
He added had been attempts to change the law in Nigeria on general insolvency as AMCON specialises on bank insolvency. He also pointed out that efforts had been made in business recovery in Nigeria in terms of banks, through the AMCON Act, saying, however, this was yet to be felt by the rest of the economy.
He therefore, advised that the same arrangement should be made for other companies that were not banks.
“So we still have a long way. If some of Nigerian companies that are becoming multi nationals today should have a challenge and they are not banks, will there be AMCON or is there an instrument by which there will be an intervention to save the factory and jobs. AMCON is progress so far, but there is still a lot to be done. That is why we are pushing this agenda for progress in insolvency in Nigeria beyond where we are today,” he said.
Idigbe, who also announced the elevation of BRIPAN to the status of an observer by United Nations commission on international trade law (UNICITRAL) said it was very significant achievement for BRIPAN and Nigeria, because UNICITRAL is a working group that had an oversight on insolvency law, which formulates and regulates international trade in cooperation with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
The elevation of BRIPAN, he said, was significance because it gives the body a voice at the international level, where model law is fashioned