By Nosa Alekhuogie
The Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has concluded plans to host its first dispute resolution week (DRW) for maritime industry stakeholders, operators and regulators.
The President of the association, Omogbai Omo-Eboh, said the DRW would hold from May 16 to 20, 2016 in Lekki, Lagos.
The president said in a statement that in line with the core vision of MAAN to become a worldwide recognised leader in commercial maritime dispute resolution by supporting and facilitating domestic and international arbitration and promoting Nigeria as a venue for the settlement of maritime disputes through arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the association is undertaking this initiative which aims to raise awareness of non-court based approach to resolving maritime disputes in Nigeria.
“To this end, we expect to facilitate the resolution of about 50 maritime disputes through the utilisation of ADR techniques that is arbitration, mediation, conciliation or negotiation. Our aim is to expose these forms of ADR mechanisms as being more effective than the court/litigation process,” he said.
Omo-Eboh explained that the advantages of ADR are reduced time in dispute resolution, reduced cost, confidentiality of the process, improved satisfaction with the outcome among disputants, among others. He noted that the week-long programme promises to be a beneficial and advantageous endeavour to the maritime industry.
He said: “As this is the inaugural scheme, it will be offered for free to disputants this year so as to encourage the submission of disputes for resolution. A day will be set aside during the week for sensitisation of disputants on the workings of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms chosen to resolve their disputes. Various organisations including government agencies, shipping companies, terminal operators, importers, freight forwarders and the organised private sector are billed to participate in the DRW.”
He said the DRW is in line with MAAN’s mandate of enlightening the general public and stakeholders in the maritime industry about arbitration and ADR as a viable alternative to litigation.