News Stories in 4th Quarter 2006 Edition of DDH Magazine
NIGERIA GETS MARITIME ARBITRATORS ASSOCIATION.
The quest to develop Nigeria’s infant maritime industry went a notch higher in October with the launch of the Maritime Arbitrator’s Association of Nigeria (MAAN). The aim of the association is to encourage local resolution of maritime disputes that were formerly taken abroad for settlement. While the advantages of such a development are plenty, the challenges facing its recognition by other foreign domains is daunting due to the paucity of resource persons to fill its bar. By right, a competent maritime association should have many lawyers who have read the particular disciplines and successfully sat through the prescribed examinations to qualify as maritime arbitrators. The Nigerian association was formed in 2005 with the high hopes that it will not only ameliorate the high cost of litigation abroad as well as deliver timely solutions.
MAAN is now striving to create the adequate local and foreign awareness to justify domiciling cases where Nigerian concerns have interest within the country as well as attracting sub regional briefs. Currently, only few lawyers are recognized as arbitrators in Nigeria but this has not hindered the formal launch of the association since Nigerian maritime trade is actually prominent and dominant within the sub-region and should otherwise have such associations in place. After all, the high courts currently handle many high profile maritime cases even though the bench may not have passed through the academic and examination rigours of qualification in the specific matters of law in dispute.
Membership of MAAN has been thrown open to maritime industry practitioners, service providers, consumers of arbitration services and other stakeholders, with a governing board made up of Vice Admiral Okhai Akhigbe (former CGS), Hon. Justice M. B. Belgore (Chief Justice of the Federation), Mr Fola Sasegbon, Senator Onyeabo Obi, Prof. Michael Ajomo, Chief Adebayo Sarumi (NPA MD), Mr Chidi Ilogu (Foundation Chambers), Mrs Ify Akerele (Nigerian Chamber of Shipping), Mr. Mofe Boyo (Oando Plc) and Mr P.L Carrodano (MD, Comet Shipping Agencies). Members of its executive council include Mrs Doyin Rhodes-Vivour (President), Olasupo Shasore, Dr. Omogbai Omo-Eboh (Honorary Secretary), M. Dele Belgore, Funke Agbor, Babatunde Fagbohunju and Uche Nwokedi. The association’s secretariat is at Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe and Belgore Chambers, St. Nicholas House (7 th Floor), Catholic Mission Street, Lagos Nigeria.