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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has unveiled a key factor that is rarely mentioned when factors frustrating ease of doing business in Nigeria are discussed. The World Bank had some months ago labeled Nigeria as an economy where ease of doing business is worst and discouraging.
Speaking at a workshop for Judicial Officers organized by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) held in Abuja, he averred that “The ranking was partly due to the length of time and significant expenses involved in the litigation process”.
Before now, there had been several executive orders to solve the puzzle but not one had been tailored to the judiciary to stem long journey to justice in court cases.
Emefiele added that the long process has further made lenders over time, to become wary of the delays and uncertainties which often characterize simple mortgage disputes such as a claim for repayment of mortgage loans, exercise of the power of sale, appointment of a receiver, foreclosure, to mention a few.
According to him, the 2016 report on affordable housing Finance in Africa did not help matters, saying, the report highlighted legal and administrative constraints, rather than lack of funds or programmes, as some of the major issues constricting the growth of home ownership in Nigeria”.
The CBN governor further listed key constraints to the growth of the housing and construction as well as mortgage sectors in Nigeria to includes, the Land tenure system as enshrined in the Land Use act of 1978, issues of Affordability and the difficulties in delivering affordable to low and middle-income households, limited access to housing and mortgage financing, difficulties in enforcing mortgage contracts and foreclosure in properties in Nigeria courts and the show bureaucratic procedures in land administration.
Speaking further on the theme: ‘Mortgage Dispute in Nigeria: The need for Expeditions Resolution of Cases’, Emefiele commended several States of the Federation that have undertaken reforms aimed at improving access to courts as well as a speedy disposal of disputes, including the reform of civil procedure rules, automation of courts, introduction of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like mediation, conciliation and arbitration; as well as the designation of some courts in the Judicial divisions in some States as Reserve Courts for specific matters stressed that more needs to be done with a view to expediting the settlement of commercial disputes.
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