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Small Claims Court Will Strengthen MSMEs In GIZ-SEDIN Partner States — Lagos CJ Alogba

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Kazeem Alogba, has said that Small Claims Courts will strengthen Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, (MSMEs) in the GIZ-SEDIN partner states if managed and effectively operated.

Alogba stated this at the opening of a three-day peer learning and capacity development workshop organised by the German Agency for International Corporation (GIZ)-SEDIN in partnership with the Lagos State Judiciary with the theme; “Strengthening the Operation of the Small Claims Court in GIZ-SEDIN Partner States” held in Lagos.

The workshop was organised to strengthen the operation of the Small Claims Court in the SEDIN’s partner states for an enhanced and effective commercial dispute resolution system in the focal states.

“I am optimistic that the progress recorded in Lagos State can be replicated in other GIZ-SEDIN partner states. It is also expected that MSMEs in those states will benefit significantly from the effective operation of the court.

“Having a training programme of this kind in Lagos State is most appropriate; and so on behalf of the Lagos State Judiciary and on my own behalf, I sincerely thank GIZ-SEDIN for their sponsorship and for this remarkable initiative. It is my hope and belief that this initiative will not be a one-time event, rather it should be a continuing exercise and the training should be extended to all the states in the country,” Alogba said.

“The objective of the court is to provide easy access to an informal, inexpensive, and speedy resolution of simple debt recovery disputes in the Magistrates’ Courts. The Court is designed to provide a judicial determination of disputes involving small amounts of money quickly and cheaply, with or without legal representation,” Alogba noted.

The Head of Policy and Strategy Unit, GIZ-SEDIN, Akin Omoware, while giving an overview of GIZ-SEDIN’s programmes in Nigeria, said that the objective of SEDIN was to increase sustained employment and income generation in MSMEs.

Omoware said that the target groups of SEDIN were the owners and employees of MSMEs as well as members of other economically active low-income households

He added that SEDIN projects were implemented in the federal, state and local levels in Niger, Ogun, Abia, Plateau, Lagos, Oyo, Kaduna, Kano and Edo states.

Omoware added that one of the key indicators used by investors globally in assessing national and states economics was the ease of enforcing contracts, hence, the need to improve the framework for contract enforcement in states.

Speaking further, Alogba said: “I hope that the knowledge the participants obtain, and the skills and techniques participants develop here, in this programme, will enhance their abilities to excel and make good success in the operation and establishment of the Small Claims Court in their respective jurisdictions.”

Alogba said Lagos, being the centre of judicial excellence, and always the pacesetter in judicial reforms in Nigeria, was the first to establish the Small Claims Court in Nigeria and this was done on April 23, 2018.

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