• New chair thinks speedy, just settlement of disputes

BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – The Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) is banking on speedy resolution of capital market and other related disputes to boost investors confidence in the Nigerian economy.

Accordingly, IST believes creating a conducive environment for handling contentious market is crucial for sustainable growth and development.

These are the thoughts expressed by Barrister Amos Isaac Azi, when taking over the reins of leadership as substantive IST Chairman in Abuja on Thursday.

Azi said; “Government is talking about investments, ease of doing business; timely, speedy and just resolution of disputes is the key and cardinal thing that promotes investment confidence.”

He explained that such productive and healthy atmosphere will generally make “investors to put in their investment in the country and to also provide the resources both corporate and government will need to carry out its assignment.”

The Chairman, who stressed the role Investment Tribunals play in settling markets disputes promptly, said a robust system is therefore crucial in promoting open processes that attract fresh investments into the economy.

Maintaining that no government or firm can boast of required resources to provide for its entire infrastructural needs, Azi said; “There is need to borrow, so there must be structure for borrowing. When people put in their money and there is a problem, it will hurt growth.

“What it means is that, the responsibility of a member is enormous because whatever we decide determines one way or the other how business is to be done in this country from the capital market sector”

The Chairman also used that occasion to charge the staff on teamwork for effective service delivery and implementation of the Tribunal’s mandate, adding that expedited and fair adjudication on capital market related disputes will not be compromised.

Speaking at the event, now outgone IST Acting Chairman, Jude Udunni, said a highly resourceful, competent and motivated personnel are needed to continuously drive the Tribunal mandate delivery.

Udunni thanked the entire staff members for their cooperation during his ten months at the helm of affairs, soliciting the same cooperation and more be extended to the new Chairman.

Admitting that certain concerns arose from the just concluded staff promotion exercise as well as staff allowances, he urged the new Chairman to necessary steps towards addressing the issues and other concerns that may come up in the course of time.

The former acting Tribunal boss, while appreciating government for the opportunity to manage IST’s affairs in the last ten months, said the responsibility “came at a time when the Tribunal was embroiled in unending labor restiveness, with its attendant negative publicity for the Tribunal and its consequence for investors’ confidence.”

He however stated that; “With the cooperation of the staff, members and the Labour Union, we have been privileged to experience a very long period of industrial harmony, which we have leveraged upon to make some meaningful traction in carrying out our statutory mandate of adjudication amidst other responsibilities that has served to steer the affairs of the Tribunal on the right part”.

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