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International Commercial - Nigeria

posted 1 year ago


Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq. FCIArb. (UK)



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Emmanuel  Ekpenyong Esq. FCIArb. (UK)
Fred-Young & Evans LP

Our firm consists of three broad practice groups; Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, and Corporate/Commercial Law Group. Our practice areas include Business and Corporate practice, Commercial Litigation, Arbitration and ADR Proceedings, Real Estate and Construction, Intellectual Property, Debt Collection, Labour and Employment Law, Child Custody and Adoption, Matrimonial Causes, Probate, Sports and Entertainment Law, Due Diligence Investigations and Process Servers, E-commerce and trade, Foreign Investments, Aviation Law, Telecommunication Law, Energy and Oil and Gas Law, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards.
We are genuinely interested in the growth of our Clients’ business. This is why we take out time to fully understand our Clients’ business, culture, concerns, business policies and customers in order to devise tailor-made solutions to their legal problems. For some legal issues, we advise negotiation, while in others, we advise mediation, litigation, arbitration, or other dispute resolution proceedings. 
Our expertise in commercial law and practice equip us to effectively advise our Clients on the proper documentations to enter with their customers to protect their business interests. Our experience in commercial litigation and arbitration also equip us with knowledge to anticipate a legal issue before it results in conflict between our Clients and their customers in order to proffer a workable solution to prevent such conflict. 
Our practice is to effectively solve our Clients’ problems within a reasonable time and cost to enable them to maintain their relationships with their customers and concentrate their efforts in growing their businesses. This has in no small way endeared our Clients to us, contributed immensely to the growth of our Client’s businesses over the years and made them to trust our legal services. Our Clients benefit from our robust boutique law practice as well as our experience in our core practice areas. 

In recent times, we have advised more foreigners on business entities to incorporate to carry on business in Nigeria. There has been an increase in registration of Nigerian subsidiaries of foreign companies for participation in the agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, power, real estate, construction, information and communication technology, entertainment, online advertising, social media, maritime, tourism and hospitality, e-commerce and investment sectors of Nigeria’s economy. 
We have also advised and obtained relevant permits, certifications and approvals to enable Nigerian subsidiaries to legally carry on business in Nigeria. We also register Intellectual Property (“IP”) such as trademarks, trade names and logos in different classes under the Nice Classification; patents, industrial designs and franchises of Nigerian subsidiaries to protect their interests in those IPs.
Also, our membership of International Credit Exchange, a debt collection network across many Countries and other reputable law networks across the globe has increased our firm’s debt collection portfolio. Our debt collection portfolio includes recovery of outstanding invoices for hospitals, sport betting firms, IT firms, manufacturing and supply firms, foreign Colleges and Universities on a contingency basis. We have also been retained to register and execute foreign judgments from commonwealth and non-common wealth jurisdictions as well as arbitral awards from different jurisdictions. 
As dispute is inevitable in a thriving business, our firm has witnessed more instructions from Clients in the real estate and construction sector on options to settle disputes with their Clients. These disputes arise from refusal to pay contract retention sum as a result of defects in the property; failure to approve and pay for variation works despite several demands; complaints on slow progress of work; legal proceedings for delayed payment of agreed instalments; failure to remit withheld taxes deducted from payments to relevant tax authorities; abandonment of subcontract works by Subcontractors; liability for loses on construction sites as a result of activities of boko haram insurgents and other criminal elements; delay in meeting milestones as a result of elections and cash crunch caused by the recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira redesign policy; failure of financial institutions to renew APG and other contract documents upon extension of the completion period, to mention but a few. 

Commercial Project 1
Upon obtaining a multi-million dollars judgment against a West African Consortium before a High Court in Ghana for breach of contract, a Ghanaian company could not enforce the judgment against the West African Consortium in Ghana because it had sold its businesses and assets to a Nigerian company. This made the Ghanaian company to commence an action and obtain judgment before the High Court of Lagos against the Nigerian company who took over the business and assets of the West African Consortium and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (“AMCON”) who eventually took over the assets of the Nigerian Company as result of its non-performing loans to a Nigerian commercial bank. 
The Ghanaian Company instructed us to register and recover the judgment sum against the Defendants at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. We commenced garnishee proceedings to register the judgment and attached the judgment sum and the Court granted a garnishee order nisi against funds belonging to the Defendants with the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”). 
However, the Court could not grant a garnishee order absolute because the Court of Appeal found that the Defendants were not privies of the West African Consortium. Whilst we are still considering other legal options available to the Ghanaian company to recover the judgment sum, we have commenced negotiations with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for an amicable settlement of the matter. 
Commercial Project 2
The Owner of a software application which offers multiple entertainment and educational products to end users approached Go Daddy.com LLC, a domain registrar who provides domain names to host websites and the Owner’s preferred name was reserved for him. The Owner promoted the website from 2014 and in 2021; he applied to Google LLC and the application was successfully listed on Google Play store. 
Whilst the Owner of the application was about to launch the website in 2022 to attract users and generate funds, Google LLC commence arbitration against the Owner of the application on the grounds that the application infringes its YouTube trademark. After hearing, the arbitration tribunal held that the application infringes the YouTube trademark and directed Go Daddy.com LLC to bring down the application’s website without any compensation to the Owner of the application for many years of promoting the application without any complaints from either Go Daddy.com LLC or Google LLC. 
The Owner of the application instructed us and we commenced an action against both Go Daddy.com LLC and Google LLC at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division for damages for the Owner’s promotional and marketing works on the application’s website and loss of anticipated profits associated with the brand equity and goodwill of the website. 
This is because even if the Client’s website is in any way similar to the YouTube trademark, the fact that both Go Daddy.com LLC and Google LLC stood by to watch the Owner promote the website for 8 whole years without any compliant from them, has estopped them from claiming infringement of the YouTube trademark or denying the Owner use of the website or proceeds arising therefrom. 
Commercial Project 3
A Client’s son of 11 years old suddenly developed severe pain in his stomach and genitals and the Client took his son to a private Hospital. After conducting the relevant scans and medical examinations, the Hospital diagnosed that his son was suffering from epididymo-orchitis, a urine infection which is also sexual transmitted. The Client’s son was admitted and treated for the disease for several days before he was discharged. 
Few days later the pain intensified and the Client’s son had to be admitted again in the same Hospital and treated for malaria, sepsis and peptic ulcer disease before he was again discharged. Some days later, the Client’s son complained of excruciating pains in his genitals and his scrotum was swollen. 
The Client was advised to take his son to another Hospital. The Client took his son to another Hospital and preliminary examination showed that the Client’s son had Testicular Torsion, a twist of the cord supplying blood to the scrotum. The new Hospital immediately conducted a surgery on the Client’s son only to discover that one of his testes was damaged as a result of the undue delay of the former Hospital in making the right medical decision in the first place. The Client instructed us to commence an action for damages against the former Hospital for medical negligence. The former Hospital has met with us for an amicable resolution of the matter. 
Commercial Project 4 
One of our Clients jointly owned 2 construction companies with an investor. In order to better manage and position the companies, the companies instructed us to draft an appropriate legal document for a split of the Company and for the respective shareholders to own each company. 
We drafted an Absorption-Type Companies Split Agreement between the shareholders in which the cash, assets and liabilities of the companies were split amongst the shareholders. We made arrangement for the employees of each Company who were not retained by the shareholder that took over the respective companies and provided for payment of tax to the relevant tax authority on the transaction. 
Consequent to the split, we made provision for transfer of IPs of each of the companies. We drafted the Share Transfer Agreement for the companies, effected the changes at the Companies Registry and furnished the companies with a certified copy of the filings. 
We drafted the title transfer documents for both fixed and moveable assets of the companies and took steps to register the documents at the appropriate land registry. We took care of other miscellaneous legal matters which arose from the split till the companies were able to carry out business independently and effectively. 
Commercial Project 5
Our service was retained by a reputable Group to incorporate a waterpark Company in Nigeria and obtain necessary permits and certifications for the Company. We obtained the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering Certificate from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“EFCC”) and the Tax Identification Number (“TIN”) and Value Added Tax (“VAT”) Certificate from the relevant Tax Office. We obtained Expatriate Quota and Business Permit from the Ministry of Interior Affairs; the NSITF Certificate from the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund and Fire Service Certificate from the Fire Service. 
We also obtained the Fitness for Habitation, Food and Water Handling, Gaseous Emissions, Liquor License, Merriment & Road Closure, Operation, Radio and Television License, Sanitary Inspection, Tenement Rate, Fumigation and Solid Waste Disposal permits from the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) as well as the Tourism Operational Certificate from the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). 
Commercial Project 6 
The provision of Section 3 (1) of the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, CAP F35, Laws of the Federation, 2004 which commenced on 1st February 1961 provides that if the Minister of Justice of the Federation (“the Minister”) is satisfied that any Country will accord reciprocal treatment to the judgments of superior Court in Nigeria, the Minister may by an Order extend the application of Part I of the Act to the judgments of superior Court of those countries. 
Though common-wealth Countries have reciprocal treatment of judgments with Nigeria, successive Ministers have failed to promulgate an Order to extend the application of Part I of the Act to those common-wealth Countries. This prompted us to commence Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/755/2017; Emmanuel Ekpenyong v Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division for the Court to compel the Minister to promulgate the Order. Both the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal found that the Minister has discretionary powers to determine when to promulgate the Order as such the Court cannot compel him to promulgate the Order. 
By a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal filed in Appeal. No.CA/A/132/2020, Emmanuel Ekpenyong v Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, we filed an application for leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the administrative discretion granted to the Minister under Section 3 (1) of the Act is not absolute but subject to judicial review and the Court should give a purposive interpretation to the provision in other to arrive at the true intention of the legislature when it enacted the Act. This would make the Court to direct the Minister to promulgate the Order to bring Part I of the Act into operation and usher in a modern legal regime for registration of foreign judgments in Nigeria. 

Foreign companies are eager to carry on business in Nigeria through their subsidiaries to tap from the enormous potential in Nigeria’s huge market. This they can achieve by entering the Nigerian market by registering a Nigerian subsidiary to carry on business, acquiring substantial shares in a blue-chip company to become its controlling shareholder, or taking over an ailing company to revive it to achieve their purpose or better still merge their Nigerian subsidiary with an existing Nigerian company or companies to create a formidable global brand. 
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Rules and Regulations, 2021 introduces new set of rules for mergers, takeovers, acquisitions, business combinations, transactions involving acquisition of shares, business, assets or subsidiaries of public companies. The rules also introduce new forms of business divestiture such as spin-offs, split-offs and carve-outs. 
The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (“the new CAMA”) introduced notable innovations like one-man Company, service of notice of meetings by email and other electronic means and holding company meetings through Skype, Zoom, and other electronic means, registration of limited partnership, limited liability partnership amongst others, all in a bid to ensure ease of doing business in Nigeria. 
The Federal Government of Nigeria has created favourable policies and climate for business enterprises. There has been an increase in infrastructure including access roads, water supply, and electricity. The relevant government agencies have streamlined bureaucratic processes of doing business in Nigeria to create a free market economy. 
Foreign exchange control regulations have been liberalized to allow unrestricted flow of investment capital. The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) established in 2016 has passed successive executive orders to ensure ease of doing business in Nigeria. Though the National Assembly is yet to ratify the Agreement, in 2021, Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA), a free trade agreement consisting of 54 African Countries. 
In 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with UK-based Developing Africa Group (“the Group”). The MOU will allow the Group to use intellectual property rights to resolve challenges facing Nigeria and create jobs and trade services. It will also assist the Registry of Trademarks to effectively register trademark rights.
In April 2022, the Nigerian Senate passed a “Bill for an Act to Repeal the Copyright Act, CAP LFN 2004 And to Re-enact the Copyright Act, 2021”. The Bill covers copyright in audio, visual and audio-visual post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and other social media platforms. The essence of the Bill is to strengthen Nigeria’s copyright regime in line with international best practices. The Bill when signed into law will increase Nigeria’s competitiveness and creativity in the digital global world and economy. The Bill will also increase the powers of the Nigerian Copyright Commission towards effective enforcement of the new Copyright Act. 
The recent Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 2023 amends 21 business related laws and removes bureaucratic constraints in doing business in Nigeria. On 17th March 2023, President Buhari signed the Fifth Alteration (No.16) and (No.17) amongst other Bills to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) (“the Constitution”) to move “railways” and “electricity” from the exclusive to the concurrent list. This will allow respective States of the Federation to create more businesses by entering into partnership with private companies to construct railway in States as well as generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid.
Since Nigeria has become a foremost market in Africa, expatriates and established foreign businesses require authentic information on doing business in Nigeria, the means of a collection of business debts, enforcement of local and foreign judgments and arbitral awards, transfer of their business profits abroad and how to grapple with risks and challenges which they would encounter in carrying on business in Nigeria. This has prompted our Managing Partner, Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq. FCIArb. to write a book on “Impact of Nigeria’s Legislations and Business Practices on Foreign Investments” available in several online bookstores. 

Many Courts in Nigeria, especially appellate Courts, now conduct fully virtual hearings of cases. The Court system has also integrated electronic means of filing and serving of Court processes. In order to adapt to this development, we now have facilities to attend virtual hearings of our Client’s cases and file our Client’s cases by electronic means. Service of Court processes through email has saved us enormous cost and efforts. We can access the online systems of various Courts to ascertain the hearing dates of our cases and status of our Client’s cases. This has saved our business time and that of our Clients. 
Also, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) responsible for the registration of businesses in Nigeria has incorporated online registration procedures and post-incorporation filings through its pre and post incorporation portal. This makes it possible for us to conduct businesses with CAC from our offices. This has led to better use of our resources to enhance our productivity and prompt service delivery to our Clients.
The One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission brings together relevant agencies of government to one office to provide a fast tracked service to foreign investors. The purpose of the Centre is to simplify the ease of doing business and business entries processes as well as remove administrative and regulatory bottlenecks in doing business in Nigeria. This has assisted our offices to obtain the required certifications for our foreign Clients within a reasonable time. 
Most government ministries and parastatals have functional websites where they provide information of their activities and services. This makes it easy for us to know current trends in their operations as well as the procedure and documents required to obtain permits, certifications and approvals from these ministries and parastatals for our Clients. 
These days, we complete online application forms, upload the required documents and obtain permits, certifications and approvals from the ministries and parastatals from our offices. This has made it easier for us to promptly obtain the requirements to carry on business in Nigeria for our Clients. 

More than ever before, cyber security is an increasing concern for most businesses in the world. This is because internet fraudsters and hackers have made the cyberspace a ready market to carry out their nefarious activities of hacking into the system of institutions, governments, individuals, businesses and organisation to steal information and funds, data and even trade secrets. 
There are many reports of hackers going on online shopping sprees upon hacking the codes of individuals and banks, selling illegally obtained data and even seizing information or data of businesses for a ransom from the owner of the business. Indeed, cyber security is a serious threat which has affected the confidence in which businesses have in the internet market and online platforms. 
Hence, there is a need for every business to create an effective system to protect against illegal penetration and disclosures of their cyber space, malicious damage and theft and unauthorised use of information and data of businesses by hackers and intruders. Interesting, Nigeria has enacted some legislations to promote cyber security in order to protect the information and data of businesses, cyber-squatting, economic sabotage, cyber-bullying, cyber-terrorism, internet fraud and intellectual property theft through online platforms by stipulating sanctions for breach of the same. 
The need for businesses to trade across border has made online markets, online platforms and e-commerce to be particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In order to assist our Clients secure their cyber space, we encourage them to retain the services of IT specialists who put mechanisms in place to prevent attack on their cyber space in the first place by investing in cutting edge software to protect their information and data, periodic change of passwords and login details, using stronger and unique passwords as well as putting in place policies that will regulate access and usage of business information and data. 
We also advise Clients on the relevant provisions of cyber-security legislations and the legal steps to take to protect their information and data and actions to take in case of a breach. Whenever our Clients’ cyber space is breached, we advise them on the options available to them to seek redress including petitioning the EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (“NFIU”), Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (“SCUML”) and even the Nigerian Police to investigate and prosecute the culprits of the breach which most times are financial crimes, advance fee fraud, money laundering and other internet frauds. 

In recent times, Nigeria has taken Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues more seriously. This could be seen in the enactment of improved legislations on the subject matter. In 2012, the CBN launched the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles which require Banks, discount houses and financial institutions to develop a managerial approach which balances opportunities to be obtained through their business activities and the environmental and social risks involved in those activities. 
In 2018, SEC approved the Nigerian Stock Exchange Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines for public listed companies which stipulate reporting requirements on ESG performance of listed companies and integrate sustainability and ESG to the operations of organisations. The Climate Change Act, 2021 targets protection of the Nigerian environment by achieving low greenhouse gas emissions through inclusive green growth. 
The new CAMA, apart from introducing more corporate governance issues such as the separation of the roles of the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of public companies, one man director of a private company and 3 independent directors of a public company, limit to directorship of public companies, register of director’s residential address and use and disclosure or protected information, more protection for minority shareholders, netting amongst others, Section 305 (3) of the new CAMA imposes an obligation on directors of companies to consider the impact of their Company’s business activities and operation on the environment and the community in which the Company carries on its business. 
As company secretary and legal adviser of some blue chip companies, we advise our Clients on respective legislations which provide for ESG requirements and guidelines for their business and streamline a procedure to enable them substantially conform to these requirements and guidelines. We work with regulatory agencies to ensure that our Clients are abreast with new regulations and trends in ESG and promptly comply with them. 
For Clients in the oil and gas sector, we advise them on their obligations to host communities under the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 and if their oil exploring activities cause damage to the host communities, promptly negotiate with the host communities to reach an amicable settlement. We also advise our Clients on steps to take to prevent or limit damage of their business activities on the community which they carry on business.
In instances where our Clients’ environmental, social or consumer rights are infringed upon without redress, we petition the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“FCCPC”) created under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018, (“FCCPA”) to protect the rights of our Clients and ensure that they are treated fairly by manufacturers, importers and suppliers of their goods and services. 
We are currently negotiating with a Hospital who we believe breached its medical ethics and duty to our Client by misdiagnosing his son and this led to bodily loss. Our aim is to obtain an apology for our Client’s son and compensation for the damage he has suffered as a result of the Hospital’s negligence. If negotiation fails, we shall petition the matter to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health and other health agencies and commence an action against the Hospital at a competent Court on the tort of medical negligence. 
On the other hand, in order to protect the private lives of citizens and their fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution from government interference, we engage in public interest litigation for the Courts to make pronouncements to differentiate private matters of Nigerians from corporate governance issues in legislations. 
In Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/076/2020; Emmanuel Ekpenyong Esq v. The National Assembly, Corporate Affairs Commission and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, we commenced an action before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division for the Court to declare the provisions of Sections 838, 839, 842, 843, 844, 845, 846, 847, 851 of the new CAMA which empowers the Companies Registry to manage the activities and even remove trustees of Incorporated Trustees as null and void and unconstitutional because the provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution which guarantees persons in Nigeria their freedom of association as well as the freedom of thoughts, conscience and religion. 
Whilst we await Judgment in the above suit, the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, per Ekwo J. delivered a Judgment on 21st March 2023 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022; The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria v. Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and held that some of the above provisions of the new CAMA does not apply to the Plaintiff because the provisions infringe the Plaintiff’s fundamental human rights. The Court granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants whether acting by themselves or through their agents or privies from implementing the provisions of the new CAMA which have been found to be inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution. 

Our firm’s membership in reputable law networks such as The Lawyers Network, Advisory Excellence, Leaders in Law, The World Law Alliance, Startupoverseas, Association of European Lawyers, Global Law Experts, and International Credit Exchange, Arisotic Law Alliance has connected us to other industry experts in different continents. We publish periodic newsletters on topical issues of Nigerian law and investment options as well as promptly obtain information on new legislations and trends in other jurisdictions. 
Our membership of these networks has afforded us the opportunity to get referrals, give legal opinion, represent Clients of members from other Countries, obtain periodic newsletters from other firms, get yearly invitations to attend symposium, conferences and seminars to speak on Nigerian law, meet and network with members. 
Our memberships of these networks has also enabled us to measure our services with other industry experts across the world and continually strive to meet international standards by carrying out research on emerging markets and areas of law practice, apply modern trends in our practice areas, invest in both local and foreign law books, and participate in international trainings in diverse areas of law. 
In the future, we hope to join more specialised international law networks to connect with more industry experts on specialised areas of law practice. We also intend to contribute to many more local and international publications on our practice areas, attend and speak on several areas of Nigerian law at conferences and seminars within Nigeria and abroad. 

In 2022, the Nigeria Startup Act was signed into law. The Act provides a legal framework for National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (“NDEPS”) which was launched in 2019. The pillars of NDEPS are Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy and Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure, Digital Services Development and Promotion, Soft Infrastructure, Digital Society and Energy Technology and Indigenous Content Development and Adoption. 
In 2022, the Stamp Duties Act was amended to introduce 50 naira stamp duty or Electronic Money Transfer Levy (“EMTL”) on transfer or electronic receipts of 10, 000 naira and above in any Bank. The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) directed Nigco, a Nigerian Bank to collect and remit the duties to FIRS. 
In FHC/AWK/CS/03/2022; Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (“ASIRS”) v Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Finance and the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (“FIRS”), ASIRS commenced an action before the Federal High Court, Awka Division on interpretation of the Stamp Duty Act to determine the lawful authority to remit the duties on individuals resident in Anambra. The Federal High Court held that electronic receipts and transfer of money transactions between customers is a banking transaction and therefore FIRS is the lawful authority to collect the duty. 
Effective from 1st January 2023, the Federal Inland Revenue Services appointed MTN, Airtel and all money deposit Banks to withhold value added tax from their vendors for remittance to FIRS. The amendments of the Customs and Excise Tariff, Etc. (Consolidation) Act stipulates that telecommunication services are subject to excise duties. 
The Federal Government of Nigeria as part of the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendment Order announced that excise duties at 5% on telecommunications services in Nigeria. Though the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has suspended the duty, the legal process to suspend the duty has not been activated. 
Reduction of manual procedure has made organisations to struggle to deal with high volume of online businesses and activities. In order to cope with the trend, automation and mass digitalisation has been incorporated into the operating procedure of many organisations. This has led to growing demand for IT specialists and programmers. Service providers now rely one way or the other on 5G and cloud services to meet high expectations in today’s online market. 
There has been an over dependence of businesses on e-commerce. Many businesses depend more than ever before on social media platforms to grow their businesses. This is why there was great uproar across the world when Facebook and Instagram crashed in Nigeria for few hours in October 2021. The 2020 Federal Government of Nigeria’s ban on Twitter as a result of its effects in the End Sars Protests opened the eyes of many Nigerians to the effect of Twitter in the global world and its contribution to the Nigeria’s economy. 
In the real estate sector, there is more awareness on protection of the environment, energy saving costs and avoidance of noise pollution arising from the use of generators to generate power. More people now have energy saving features in their homes and offices. This includes solar panels, insulations, and energy saving appliances. In order to make living more convenient and comfortable, people are more interested to invest in smart home technology by equipping their homes with thermostats, security system, alarm system, built in speakers and other modern devices. 
There is a continuous growth in the construction sector in Nigeria with expansions in real estate, transportation, power transmission and distribution, telecommunications and oil and gas. The building sector appears to have more benefits because it will create employment benefits, enhance infrastructure and industrialisation. 
Private companies can participate in the sector by constructing low cost houses for civil servants and low income earners and refurbish homes, business premises and industrial centers. This will lead to more competition amongst contractors; cost saving measures such as green technology implantation and quest for financing options to fund construction projects. 

New technologies have to a large extent changed the way people and organisations interact in Nigeria. It has led to legal ambiguities which have given rise to legal problems never before seen. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, sensors, cryptography and robots are wonderful developments with novel challenges of their own. 
For instance, wearable technology has characteristics which help in understanding a condition in its essence. Data which are generated by wearable devices are uploaded at different frequencies for the use of stakeholders such as sensor manufacturers, application firms, software companies and data analytics companies. The collecting, transferring, analysing and storing of data give rise to new challenges.
In recent times, data ownership rights have been on the front burner because customers are becoming more aware of their data ownership rights and businesses are by law compelled to protect customers’ data right. Interestingly, there has been an increase in data related literature, legislations and proceedings on the subject matter. 

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International Commercial - Nigeria

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