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The NOTN and AELEX Partners hold national workshop on bankruptcy and debt collection systems

The NOTN and AELEX Partners hold National Workshop on Bankruptcy and Debt Collection Systems

The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) in collaboration with AELEX Partners held an informative workshop on, “Creation of the 21st Century Credit Oriented Economy” at The Wells Carlton Hotel on Thursday, 18th May 2023. The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, opened the event with an address and commended the efforts of the NOTN in drawing attention to the need for a Bankruptcy and Debt Collection Commission.

Present at the workshop were the Director-General/Chief Trade Negotiator of the NOTN, in the person of Ambassador Yonov Fred Agah, PhD, Mr. Soji Awogbade, FEI Partner, AELEX/Lead, International Trade, Energy & Natural Resource Practice Groups. Also present were representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, commercial banks, law firms, stockbrokers and academia.

The full-day workshop kicked off with a series of insightful presentations delivered by Mr. Soji Awogbade, FEI (Partner, AELEX/Lead, International Trade, Energy & Natural Resource Practice Groups) Mr. Olanipekun Orewale, FBR (Partner in Disputes Resolution and Insolvency Practice groups at AELEX), Associate Prof. Dr. Francisca Nlerum (Head of Commercial and Business Law, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS)), Mr Niyi Ajao (CEO Digital Finance Solutions, Nigeria Limited/Non-executive Director of Nigeria CRC Credit Bureau), and Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji (Director of the Trade and Exchange Department, Central Bank of Nigeria) represented by Mr. Kanya Williams (Central Bank of Nigeria).

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The expert-led presentations covered various aspects, which include a review of the existing legal framework for bankruptcy/insolvency and debt collection, debt restructuring, emerging trends, and best practices for effective debt recovery. The speakers emphasized the need for the amendment of extant bankruptcy/insolvency laws, adoption of a data-driven credit management system, establishment of a Bankruptcy Commission and Debt Collection Offices, and effective public-private collaboration to engender public trust, and transparency in the system.

In addition to the presentations, the workshop also featured an interactive panel session on, “Bankruptcy and Debt Collection Systems: Comparisons and Best Practices (Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore and Switzerland)”, where the panelists highlighted best practices in bankruptcy and debt collection systems in several jurisdictions, while *proffering recommendations to bolster Nigeria’s current system.

A major highlight of the workshop was the consensus reached by all participants to establish a Working Group committed to achieving the goals set by the participants, which include the following proposals:

1. adoption of innovative methods in debt collection.
2. amendment of existing bankruptcy and insolvency laws.
3. use of technological solutions to aid debt collection.
4. implementation of data driven credit management system.
5. integration of existing identity systems to achieve a single unique identification number.
6. establishment of a Bankruptcy Commission and Debt Collection Offices to undertake the full weight of debt recovery activities.

At the close of the event, the organizers – AELEX and the NOTN expressed their satisfaction with the success of the workshop and thanked all participants and speakers for their active participation. They highlighted their commitment to organizing future workshops and similar events to contribute to the growth and development of the framework for bankruptcy and debt collection in Nigeria.
It was equally noted that in an increasingly complex financial landscape further deepened by the anticipated effects of the AfCFTA, the workshop serves as a crucial platform for professionals to be informed on and adapt to changing regulations and global best practices.
ǼLEX is a leading full-service commercial and dispute resolution law firm in West Africa with offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja in Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. The firm provides legal services that cover a broad spectrum of matters relating to Project Finance, Litigation & Arbitration, Oil & Gas, Agriculture, Capital Market & Securities Law, Power, Tax Law, International Trade Law, Securities Law, Energy & Infrastructure, Banking & Finance Law, Aviation & Maritime Law, Intellectual Property Law, Technology Law, Telecommunications Law, Media & Entertainment and Financial Technology.
For more information on the firm and our services, kindly access our website.