With increasing budgetary allocation for infrastructure by the Federal Government, arbitrators under the aegis of International Chamber of Commerce say they are poised to help resolve possible disputes that may arise from construction contracts.

As a result, they have listed “Presenting Damages in Construction Arbitration,” as one of the topics to be discussed at the 4th ICC African Regional Arbitration Conference, holding in Lagos between June 18 and 19.

The chairman of the conference planning committee, Mr Mike Igbokwe (SAN), who briefed journalists earlier in the week alongside ICC Secretary General in Nigeria, Mrs Olubunmi Osuntunyi; Mrs Funke Agbor (SAN), and Mrs Josephine Akinwunmi, said arbitrators, policymakers and stakeholders in the construction sector would find the topic beneficial as it would provide them with insight into possible construction disputes and how they are resolved.

“In view of the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria and what the government has promised to do – right now, the government is spending a lot of money in the area of infrastructure – we believe that stakeholders in the construction industry will have a lot to benefit at this year’s conference; they will gain an insight into how construction disputes are resolved when they arise. Not just the policymakers, practitioners in the construction sector will also find the conference rewarding,” Igbokwe said.

But apart from construction dispute, the SAN said the conference with the broad theme, “Africa: Open for Business?” would also be considering other topics, such as “Arbitration of Banking and Financial Disputes”; “Drafting of Enforceable Awards”; “Diversity and Disqualification: Recent Trends in Domestic and International Arbitration”; and “Dispute Resolution under the AfCTA: A New Look at the Calvo Doctrine”; among other topics.

According to him, in the line-up of resource persons are experts from Egypt, Rwanda, Paris, Mali, Tanzania, the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria.

Igbokwe said the speakers would be led by the President and Secretary General of ICC, Mr Alexis Mourre and Mr John Denton, respectively.

He described the ICC conference, over the years, as strategic for the Nigerian arbitration community, as it “keeps creating a growing awareness of the importance of arbitration in the dispute resolution process.”

He explained that the theme for this year was informed by “the desire to determine whether Africa is ready for investment by both foreign and local investors and to explore possible ways of making arbitration work in Africa.”

Igbokwe urged intending participants to take advantage of the early-bird registration rate, which would close on May 17.

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