The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup has advocated for the use of arbitration, mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in settling commercial disputes in the maritime industry.
Speaking when she received Executive Council members of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) who visited her on a courtesy call on Wednesday, Haastrup expressed believe that resolving maritime industry disputes through ADR will be much faster and less acrimonious than litigation.
“I am happy to note that with competent persons who can handle arbitration in Nigeria. I will encourage the use of arbitration as much as possible because it has significant advantages over litigation in court, such as party control of the process, typically lower cost and shorter time to resolution, flexibility and privacy,” she said.
It should be recalled that STOAN had been in court with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council over increase in terminal charges and with the new development, STOAN is set to resolve its age-long feud with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council out of court.
MAAN President, Dr. Omogbai Omoeboh, who led the delegation on the courtesy visit, said MAAN is motivated by the strong desire to provide effective and cost efficient alternatives for dispute resolution of maritime disputes in Nigeria through of arbitration proceedings and other ADR methods.
He said the association was organized to gather together members ready, willing and able to serve as arbitrators of disputes arising in businesses involving all aspects of maritime, energy and related activities.
“MAAN was conceived by practitioners that have attained distinction and expertise in arbitration and maritime law in Nigeria. Following its conception and incorporation in 2005, its executive council has acted as a steering body for the establishment of the associations’ ethos and structures.
“The council is committed to ensuring that MAAN maintains internationally accepted standards and best practices with local expertise.
“MAAN is borne out of the essential need to offer Nigeria as an alternative resource and venue following recent developments in the industry and the growing cost of arbitration in foreign countries and the pressure on the litigation system to deliver timely solutions.
“It is a membership organization open to industry practitioners; service providers; consumers of arbitration services and all stakeholders at large,” he said.
Omoeboh also said the group aims to become a worldwide recognized leader in commercial maritime dispute resolution by supporting and facilitating domestic and international arbitration and promoting Nigeria as a venue for the settlement of maritime disputes through arbitration and ADR.