Okwe Obi, Abuja
Nigeria Representative of Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Omoware Akinropo, has attributed the failure of businesses in Nigeria to commercial disputes caused by the inability of business partners to adhere to contracts.
Akinropo, who spoke at a webinar, said the Federal and State Governments should enforce contract agreements through the court.
The online conference was attended by the chief judges of Niger, Plateau, Ogun, Edo, Lagos, Oyo, Kaduna, Kano and Abia States, respectively.
According to him, ‘contract enforcement is a very key aspect of commercial and business engagement generally especially because of often commercial and business interactions occur between private individuals or companies who have to mutually depend and trust each other to perform their obligation under the contract.
‘When there is a default or there is any other form of dispute and disagreement arising from the business relations, the aggrieved party need to have some form of disputes and disagreement arising from the business relations, the aggrieved party need to have some form of laid down, functional, effective and affordable processes to enable the party seek redress.’
He added that ‘when businesses are not able to be enforce contracts or where the process for enforcement is not easy, affordable and predictable, where businesses have no help from business institutions, government or private, to make others keep to their business agreement, the investment may be lost overnight, or people and business may simply choose not to transact business with unknown persons, it may make the business environment very chaotic and unfriendly for business growth.’
Akinropo disclosed that one of the measures implemented by GIZ in Nigeria ‘is the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria-SEDIN Programme (including the Nigeria Competitive Project-NICOP.’
He explained that NICOP ‘is to improve the employment and situation of MSMEs through access to finance and business services, strengthening entrepreneurial and managerial skills, and addressing key barriers in the business and investment climate.’
He said the aim of the webinar was to create awareness of stakeholders on commercial dispute resolution and contract enforcement and to explore the partnership between the SEDIN-NICOP programme and the State in strengthening the system for commercial dispute resolution and contract especially for MSMEs.