Critical Appraisal of Dispute Resolution Techniques in Property Development

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE BENEFICIENT AND MOST MERCIFULL RESEARCH TOPIC: CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION TECHNIQUES IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA. Property Development is adjudged to be the second most important need to human beings after food(Dugeri 1997 & Nwuba 2009). This perception is influenced as buttressed by (Leramo 2006) on the premise that Nigeria is the most Densly populated in Africa with an estimated population of 150 million people as released by National census of 2006 blessed with petroleum and other natural resources.

Property development involves Construction, Rehabilitation, Improvement and or material change capable of enhancing value and aesthetics of the property (Umeh 1986). This Defination has revealed the complexity and Possibility of multiple contractual agreements that may be involved along the chain of development processes which may expose some inadequacies and contractual breaches translating into disputes as opined by (oladapo &onabanjo 2009), that disputes are inevitable in human relationships whether Bussiness or personal with property development inclusive.

Dispute according to the Nigerian institution of estate surveyors & Valuers arises when parties to a duelly executed contract can not mutually agree on interpretation and implementation of whole or part of contractual clauses during the currency of the contract.

Whereas (kumaraswamy 1998) have it that dispute arises where a claim or assertions made by one party is rejected by the other party and that rejection is not accepted, The manifestation of dispute in any contrac t whether simple or complex Neccessitate its resolution and or determination prefferablly in a more honourable manner pleasant to the parties involved in the contract to avoid time wastage, extra cost, ill-feelings ,abandonments of the project and or prolonged completion period which will be detrimental to investors and even the contractor.

Consequently ,project managers and or parties to property development contracts need to be conscious of the appropriate techniques to employ for resolving disputes when it manifest. literatures have it that other techniques of resolving property development includes; Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation and Negotiation (Caifa & Yumin 2007). Arbitration as defined by international Arbitration Act is an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen between them in respect of defined legal relationship whether contractual or not. t could be inform of a clause in the contract or in a form of seperate agreement . Whereas Nigerian arbitration and conciliation Act (ACA) Cap A18 laws of the federation of Nigeria(2004) provided for a unified legal frame work for fair and efficient settlement of disputes through arbitration and conciliation act which made appllicable and enforceable all arbitral awards made in Nigeria or from an international arbitration. This approach is modelled from the united nations commissions on international trade law(UNCITRAL) model law on international arbitration.

It is worthy of note However, other professional bodies in Nigeria have embedded the use of arbitration in their professional practice documents especially within the building industry professionals. Paramount to mention is that once parties to a contract have agreed in writing to resolve their disputes by arbitration, it become impossible for one party to unilaterally seek the court intervention unless it is established that a claim cannot be proven by a valid defence as in the case of Tropicon contractors pte ltd VS Lojan properties pte ltd (1989) 3 ml 216,(1989) SLR 610. here the contractor succeeded in a claim against a developer for failing to make payment in accordance with interim payment certificate issued persuant to the SIA Form because the developer could not provide any valid defence as also in the case of Kwan Im Tong Chinese temple & anor VS Fong Choon Hung Im Tong Chinese Temple & Anor VS Fong Choon Hung Construction Pte Ltd (1998) 2 SLR 137. where the disputes were refferred to arbitration and a stay of the court proceedings was ordered.

Needless to state however that other forms of dispute resolution in property development would be reviewed and disscussed upon your approval. AIM OF THE RESEARCH The aim of the research is to examine the application and efficiency of alternative dispute resolution REFERENCES T. T. Dugeri, (1997): Towards effective property development in nigeria being paper presented at a mandatory continuing professional development programme of the nigerian institution of estate surveyors & valuers. C. C.

Nwuba, (2009): National Housing Policy of Nigeria and its operation,being paper presented at a seminar organised by the Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors & Valuers. G. A. Leramo, (2006):Ground work to property development in nigeria being a paper presented at mandatory continuing proffessional development programme organised in collaboration with Estate surveyors & Valuer Registration Board of Nigeria. M. C. Umeh,(1986): The intricacies in property development financing in nigeria. eing paper presented at the National conference of the Nigerian Institution of Estste surveyors & Valuers. A. Oladapo & B. Onabanjo,(2009): A Study of the causes and resolution of disputes in the construction industry. being paper presented at RICS COBRA Research conference. Kumaraswamy, M. M. (1998): Tracing the root causes of construction claims and disputes being paper presented at the COBRA Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors .

Song Caifa & Liu Yumini,(2007). Outline and techniques of conciliation p481 of the international journal of Arbitration. International Arbitration Act United Nation Commission on International trade law (UNCITRAL) Model law on International Arbitration. Singapore Instittute of Architects articles and condition of Building contract (SIA). Nigerian Arbitration and conciliation Act CAP A18 laws of the federation of Nigeria. 2004. National population commission of Nigeria (census 2006).