Telecommunications giant, Globacom, has affirmed its total support for arbitration as an avenue for the resolution of business disputes among parties.
Coordinator, Commercial, Globacom, Mr. Ike Oraekwuotu, disclosed this at an investment roundtable held during the first International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Africa Regional Conference on arbitration, sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Tuesday.
Oraekwuotu added that the company was committed to the cause of arbitration in Africa owing to its vast benefits to businesses and as a way of building local capacity in the field.
He said: “In all the countries where we have operations on the West African coast, whenever any dispute arises between us and our broad spectrum of partners, as is it is wont to happen in a business environment, it is our policy to engage local arbitrators in the respective countries to help achieve a resolution agreeable to all parties. These are the people who know the terrain and understand the distinct nuances of the environment and its people. We may have a team of Nigerian experts to provide us advice internally at the head office, but basically the local arbitrators handle the issues on site”.
President, International Court of Arbitration, Mr. Alexis Mourre, described the First Africa Regional Arbitration Conference of the International Chamber of Commerce as the most successful of all such conferences on five continents, especially considering the level of participation.
According to him, the conference would now be held annually, even as he called for more diversity in the global community of arbitrators. He disclosed that over 70 percent of all arbitrators were of Western Europe or North American origins.
Mourre opined that “Africa is the future of arbitration”, while calling for more Africans to get involved in the practice.
Also speaking at the conference, President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN), noted that arbitration could help Nigeria decongest the courts as many cases should not to go to litigation if arbitration was duly recognised and added that the conference would help expand the frontiers of knowledge on arbitration in Africa.
Chairperson of the Planning Committee of the conference, Mrs. Dorothy Udeme Ufot (SAN), expressed appreciation to Globacom for supporting the conference. She said Globacom’s sponsorship would help boost the profile of Nigeria in the global community of arbitrators.
Executive Director, Legal Services, Globacom, Mrs. Gladys Talabi, said at the Gala Night at the conference that the company was delighted to sponsor the event as part of its contribution to the growth of expertise in arbitration on the African continent.
Mrs Talabi reaffirmed the company’s commitment towards promoting local capacity in all aspects of the economy.
The three-day conference was organised by ICC’s International Court of Arbitration in conjunction with the International Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria