Experts have called for legal recognition of the use of electronic trading documentation in lieu of paper-based documentation to ensure the continued shipment and release of goods.
The move, they said, would fasten transactions among African countries in view of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) and Regional Coordinator, Sub Saharan Africa, Babatunde Savage, disclosed this at the 22nd mixed Yearly General Meeting of ICCN in Lagos.
He called on Nigeria businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to present a common front to ensure maximum benefits of AfCFTA.
According to him, the events of 2020 have tested the world in ways few anticipated.
“It has tested the resilience of businesses, people, processes, technologies, cultures etc. Though the year had not been easy, nonetheless, it has made trade, commerce and businesses generally stronger, better, more agile and prepared for a fast changing world deploring the digital channel,” he declared.
According to Savage, to rebuild post COVID-19, global supply chains and trade lines must be open and free of encumbrances; encourage ease of doing business and tax incentives to aid foreign direct investment especially in the face of AfCFTA.
He further stressed the need for the national assembly to domesticate AfCFTA Investment Protocol, for Nigerians to benefit from its gains.
On his part, boardroom guru and Chairman Emeritus of ICCN, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, wondered why a country, which is a signatory to the protocol could expel businesses from other member countries without due compliance with the embedded protocol.
Osunkeye also expressed worries about the dispute settlement protocol as disagreements between private businesses among member countries are seen as a disagreement between state parties.
The implication, he noted, is that its implementation will be difficult, if individual parties or organisations are not in the good books of the government in power.
Meanwhile, ICCN has appointed Mrs. Dorothy Ufot (SAN) as chairman of its Commission on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The appointment followed the demise of its former chairman, Prof. Gabriel Adesiyan Olawoyin (SAN) at the age of 81years.
Savage said the commission also has Dr. Babtunde Ajibade (SAN) as member.
He noted that the ICCN arbitrators recently had an online interactive session with the Secretariat of the ICC Court led by Mr. Alexis Mourre, President of the Court on April 28.
Championing the meeting was the newly appointed Director for ICC Dispute Resolution and ADR Services for Africa, Ms. Diawara Diamana and Ndanga Kamau, Vice President of the ICC Court and President of the ICC Africa Commission.