AN APPRAISAL OF RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS BY THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SETTLEMENT OF INVESTMENT DISPUTES (ICSID) IN NIGERIA

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AN APPRAISAL OF RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS BY THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SETTLEMENT OF INVESTMENT DISPUTES (ICSID) IN NIGERIA

Abstract:

Nigeria is in a continuous quest to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to support and sustain a decent economic growth. These foreign investors being invited are as much interested in the methods available for dispute resolution as they are in every available guarantee on their investments. This dissertation appraises the recognition and enforcement of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Arbitral Awards in Nigeria. The dissertation has the ultimate aim of proposing ways through which Nigeria can re-affirm its commitment to ICSID, as well as foreign investors. The research adopts doctrinal methodology depending on both local and foreign literature on ICSID jurisprudence. The importance of recognition and enforcement comes from the fact that arbitration is considered to be of no value if its award is not enforceable. Bearing this in mind, the work argues that the more recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards are observed with minimal procedural delay, the more the confidence of parties‘ increases. The dissertation examines the Centre from inception, to Nigeria‘s accession to the ICSID Convention, and the extent of commitment demonstrated so far. The research observed that arbitration under the ICSID is bedevilled by certain controversies resulting from conflicts of interest between the developed and the developing states as evidenced by the denunciation of the ICSID Convention by Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. The analysis revealed the little consequences this has on the commitments of other states to the Convention. Disregarding these issues may be ultimately fatal to the future of the Centre and the commitment of other members, particularly from developing countries. Therefore, the need to embark on specific structural, procedural and functional reforms to give the developing nations more roles to play in running the centre is in emphasis. The dissertation revealed that the review mechanism of the Centre is inadequate, as annulment does not amount to appeal, thereby making it impossible to correct functional errors made by the tribunals. Leading to discontent and leaving the aggrieved parties with limited options; in the end lead to denunciation. Hence, there is the need to develop a system of appeal in order for parties to have recourse to a review mechanism in the light of the inconsistent decisions rendered by ICSID Tribunal. As the work further examines, arbitration under the ICSID is very expensive and complex. Parties are burdened with tribunal costs, professional and counsel fees, transportation, and so many other unforeseen costs. This is why the ICSID Schedule of Fees has to be reviewed to make tribunal charges proportionate to the amount involved in the claim. ICSID tribunals can also take advantage of the virtual world in filing of cases and exchange of pleadings. The work also bares a fundamental problem, that is, the inability of Nigeria to make rules of enforcement as prescribed by section 2 of ICSID (Enforcement of Awards) in order to give effect to the provisions of the Act. Nigeria must re-affirm its commitment to ICSID and the international investor-community, Nigeria must therefore, endeavour to make rules for the enforcement of ICSID award pursuant to section 2 of ICSID (Enforcement of Awards) Act

AN APPRAISAL OF RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS BY THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SETTLEMENT OF INVESTMENT DISPUTES (ICSID) IN NIGERIA

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