The Director, Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse, Mrs Adeyinka Aroyewun, on Thursday, stressed the need for Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt seamless conflict resolution mechanisms.
She spoke on Day 3 of a peer-learning and capacity development workshop organised by the German Agency for International Corporation (GIZ)-SEDIN in partnership with the Lagos State Judiciary, in Lagos.
The workshop opened on Feb. 8, with the theme, “Strengthening the Operation of the Small Claims Court in GIZ-SEDIN Partner States”, with participants drawn from GIZ-SEDIN’s partner states (Niger, Edo, Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Oyo, Kaduna, Abia and Ogun states).
Aroyewun said that MSMEs needed seamless dispute resolution mechanisms, especially in view of their contributions to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It is important to note that MSMEs have become significantly crucial to the Nigerian economy as they contribute 48 per cent of GDP, account for 96 per cent businesses and 84 per cent of employment in Nigeria.
“It has become pertinent for MSMEs to adopt a seamless dispute resolution mechanism to solve an ever-widening range of conflicts between MSMEs and other businesses, individuals and government agencies.
“This approach would save costs, ensure confidentiality as well as enhance speedy dispensation of justice which will in turn translate into ease in doing business in Lagos and in Nigeria as a whole,” she said.
Aroyewun spoke on the topic: Facilitated Negotiation/Mediation Presented to Magistrates of the Small Claims Court.
Justice Rahman Oshodi, of the High Court of Lagos State, also spoke on ‘Enforcement of Judgements and Appeals’, at the event.
He said that the Small Claims Court referred to a classification of Magistrate Courts that dealt with liquidated money claims involving small amounts of money.
The judge said that the timeline and simplicity of the process had aided efficiency of the court.
According to him, the emergence of Small Claims Court has met and exceeded expectations in Lagos State, even at the appellate stage, despite some constraints.
Some legal practitioners at the event said that Small Claims Court would improve the sanctity of contracts and further boost foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy.