The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has called on legal practitioners and other residents of the Federal Capital Territory to consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving the numerous land cases that are currently pending in FCT courts.
The minister made the call, when officials of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abuja chapter, led by its chairman, Barrister Ezenwa Anumnu, paid him a visit in his office in Abuja.
Malam Bello noted that protracted land disputes gave a negative perception of Nigeria as a very difficult place to do business among the international community.
The minister insisted that some of the land cases could have been settled if there had been adequate discussions for out of court settlements.
He said: “Some of the cases that are pending in courts are cases that could really be sorted out just by discussions and that is why we have to encourage alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for these issues to be settled out of court.”
Malam Bello assured that institutions within the FCT administration would be strengthened to take care of noticeable lapses and promote due process in handling all land related matters.
He said the focus of the FCT Administration, among others, was to make the process of doing business much easier in order to move Nigeria’s level on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index to a better level than what it was today.
“We want to move by at least 20 points from where we are now and we realised that land related transactions constitute a very important measure of how systems are judged, whether they are efficient and user friendly or not,” the minister said.
by Mulikatu Mukaila