The Federal Government is to undertake a series of reforms of Nigeria’s Bilateral International Treaties (BIT) to attract responsible, inclusive, balanced and sustainable investments.
The review of these agreements will also help the government avoid litigation such as the one involving Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) where the company dragged Nigeria to court for alleged breach of contract.
The reforms will involve the development of a new model BIT, modernize existing stock of old generation treaties that would enable the government to put in place a coherent legal framework at all levels.
Director, legal department, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Patience Okala disclosed at a webinar. According to her, NIPC’s efforts at reviewing and validating some of the bilateral investment treaties that Nigeria entered into with other countries would help the country to reap maximum investment benefits from such bilateral trade deals.
She said that the review would be done in a manner that complies with global standards on labour, human rights, environment and corporate social responsibilities.
The review, she further noted would also focus on an inclusive approach that would help mobilize investments and create jobs while balancing investor’s rights with obligations.
Okala explained that the move would also promote sustainable development objectives in line with the United Nation’s agenda 2030.
She disclosed that the bilateral agreement treaties to be reviewed would cover those signed between 1990 and 2001.
She also said that the bilateral agreement being reviewed would help to introduce mediation and provide safeguards to investor-state dispute settlement provisions.
The commission’s secretary, Yewande Sadiku in her remarks said that the coronavirus pandemic has opened an opportunity for investors in the country.
According to her, while the impact of the pandemic has made it imperative for very aggressive investment promotion by Nigeria, the best way to proactively position Nigeria was to sell the country on a sector by sector basis based on specific investments that cut across various areas.
Business Day, 10 August, 2020
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