Could the Non-Domestication of Nigerian Treaties Affect International Energy Investments Attraction into the Country?

Chinenyendo Nriezedi-Anejionu* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In a bid to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) into the energy sector, Nigeria has signed many investment and energy-related treaties. However, many of these treaties have not been ratified and domesticated as required by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and as such cannot be applied by domestic courts when necessary. This raises serious legal questions on the status of the various energy investment-relevant treaties Nigeria has signed. This is especially relevant to bilateral investment treaties (BITs) where their non-domestication renders their provisions not legally binding on domestic courts. It becomes problematic in situations where certain provisions in BITs such as the exhaustion of local remedies (ELR), fork-in-the-road (FITR), denial of justice and expropriation claims, require disputes to be addressed (at least initially) in domestic courts before international arbitration is accessed. This article provides an analysis of various ways non-domestication of treaties could affect the investment interests of a dualist country such as Nigeria that is actively seeking to attract FDI for the development of its energy sector. Pointing out the implications and various ways both investors' and Nigeria's interests could be undermined, it argues for a reform in the way treaties are implemented in Nigeria to facilitate their domestication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-144
Number of pages21
JournalAfrican Journal of International and Comparative Law
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • BITs
  • domestication
  • energy investment
  • exhaustion of local remedies
  • implementation of treaties
  • investment treaties
  • Nigeria

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