INTRODUCTION and other jurist, authors and labour law

INTRODUCTION

This research bothers on the Role of the National
Industrial Court in Settlement of Disputes in Nigeria. However, the scope of
the research bothers mainly on the Role of the National Industrial Court in
Settlement of Trade Disputes in particular. Hence it is pertinent or diligent
to conceptualize by way of literature review, the meaning (Statutory and
otherwise) of the term “National Industrial Court”, “Settlement of Disputes”
and other jurist, authors and labour law pundits views on the role of the NIC
in settlement of trade disputes in Nigeria.

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2.1       NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT (NIC)

Generally, it is worthy to acknowledge that no ambiguity
exist as to the meaning of NIC. It seems so because the National Industrial
Court of Nigeria (NICN) is a creation of the Statute and the Statute which
creates it also defines it. However, it appears that the main purpose of this
heading is to ensure clarity of purpose and accordingly ascribe to the NIC its
requisite meaning under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN)
1999 (as amended) and the National Industrial Court Act (NICA) 2006. In doing
so, the views and scholarly positions of Labour Law pundits with respect to the
Role of National Industrial Court in Settlement of Trade Disputes will be
considered extensively.

First and foremost, the NICN is one among the
Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria by virtue of s.2 of the 3rd
Alteration Act 2010 which added the National Industrial Court among the list of
superior Courts of record in Nigeria as now enshrined under s.6(5) of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.1
Constitutionally, the NIC was established by virtue of s.6 of the 3rd
Alteration Act 2010 vis-à-vis s.254A of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). Accordingly, the said s.254A provides
that “There shall be a National Industrial Court of Nigeria”. By virtue of this
provision, the NICN is no doubt a creation of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria. It is in this regard, one may posit that the meaning of NIC
is unambiguous save that the NIC can also trace its earlier establishment to
s.20 of the Trade Disputes Act (TDA) 20042
and s.1 of the NICA 2006.

Prior to the 3rd Alteration Act, s.1 of
the NICA provides thus: ‘There is established a Court to be known as the
National Industrial Court’. By virtue of the aforesaid provision, the meaning
of the NIC can also be said to be unambiguous. However, while the history,
compositions, powers, functions, scope/jurisdiction, status and right of appeal
of matters adjudicated by the NIC are subject to be discussed in subsequent
chapters, it is pertinent to state that the establishment of the NIC as a Superior
Court of Record, clearly put to rest the previous controversies about the
powers and jurisdiction of the Court.3

However, for our purpose under this heading, the
Role of the NIC cannot be overemphasised as its role appears to be a sine qua non for industrial harmony in
every ideal industrial setting. The role of the NIC percolates into advancement
of organised labour with enough power to enable employers and employees
negotiate a wide range of subjects in a balanced framework. In the view of Adejumo, “the creation of the NICN is indeed
applauded and also significant in the development of Nigeria adjudication”.4
He further posited that

The establishment of the NIC is an indication
that the Law makers are addressing the yearnings and aspirations of the commercial
and private sectors of the economy which requires reform to match up with the
obstacles and challenges of globalization, advancement in technology,
specialized Courts as it is in other developed nations of the world and same
have the goal of endowing organised Labour with enough and adequate powers to
enable Employers of Labour and Workers negotiate a wide range of subjects in a
balanced frame work.5

1 See The Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (3rd Alteration) Act 2010, s.2
and s.6 (5) (cc) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999
(as amended).

2 See generally, Trade
Disputes Act 2004, s.20 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7)  which did not only establish the National
Industrial Court but provided for its members, composition and modus operandi.

3 Ibid (n.2) 58-68; and
C.K Agomo, Nigeria Employment and Labour
Relations Law and Practice (1st edn Concept Publication Limited
2011) 339.

4 B.A Adejumo, ‘The
Impact of National Industrial Court in Administration of Justice in a Developing
Country like Nigeria’ vol.II available at www.nationalindustrialcourtofnigeria.com.

5 Ibid.

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