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Arbitration of maritime disputes is cost-effective, says association

Dr Omogbai Omo-Eboh, President, MAAN
The Maritime
Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) says arbitration of maritime disputes
is cost-effective for ensuring speedy resolution of disputes.
The President of
the association, Dr Omogbai Omo-Eboh, who spoke in an interview in Lagos, said: “arbitration does not come cheap as people may think.’’

Omo-Eboh said
people still thought that they need not pay for arbitration and attributed it
to lack of awareness.
 “The other
challenge we face is that even for those who come for our services, arbitration
is not cheap. I must make that clear to you.
“You have to pay
for the services of the arbitrator and you pay commercial rates unlike when you
go to the courts.
“So, arbitration
is not cheap and once you advise parties about the costs involved, they tend to
shy away. But you see, you must look at the benefits.
“In as much as
arbitration is not cheap, I will tell you that it’s cost-effective and is
cost-efficient, in terms of the fact that you get a speedy resolution.
“And in addition
to that, an expert in that field who understands the issues at stake in and out
is the judge who resolves that dispute for you.’’
According to
Omo-Eboh, arbitration helps to sustain business relationship of the parties
involved after the dispute is resolved, as they can continue doing business
with one another.
He said another
major challenge was the place of arbitration, which was mostly determined by
the ship owners involved in the disputes.
Omo-Eboh, who is
also a maritime lawyer, said that since the ship owners were foreigners,
arbitration usually took place in such foreign arbitration forum, which might
cost more.
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