National Industrial Court of Nigeria

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria also known as NIC is a court empowered to adjudicate trade disputes, labour practices, matters related to the Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Workmen’s Compensations Act and appeals from the Industrial Arbitration Panel. Most matters adjudicated by the court are exclusive to the court and its decisions are subject only to appeal when certain conditions are met.[1] NIC's power as a court of first and last resort has it share of critics who believe it deprives litigants the ability to appeal its decisions and an overreaching jurisdiction into potential criminal matters such as sexual harassment, discrimination and child labour.[1]


The Trade Dispute Decree No.7 of 1976 set up the National Industrial Court; initially consisting of a president and four other members and a quorum of the president and two members. The initial jurisdiction of the court set forth in the Decree No.7 was dealing with trade union disputes and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. From 1976 until 2006, the operations of the court was limited and its judgement barely respected.[2] It operated on matters that emerged from arbitration or conciliatory labor disputes[3] while it shared jurisdiction on most matters with the state and Federal High Court. The first president was Paul Atilade.

In 2006, the legislature passed the National Industrial Court Act, 2006 (NICA), strengthening the rules of the court and its ability to enforce judgement. The act also repealed parts of Decree No.7 and reduced some of the jurisdiction of the High Courts that was shared with NIC.[1] The 1999 Constitution (Third Alteration) Amendment Act 2010 further enhanced the jurisdiction of the court and established it as a superior court of record.[3] The procedures, jurisdiction, practice and power of the courts were properly defined by the 2010 act.


The 2006 Act encouraged arbitration of labour matters and in 2015, the court established the Alternate Dispute Resolution center. The centre's mandate include reduction in cost and delays in judicial delivery through efficient, fast and equitable settlement of disputes.[4]




  1. ^ a b c Fagbemi, Sunda (2014). "Jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria: A Critical Analysis". Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization. 28.
  2. ^ "History". National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ogunye, Jiti (February 14, 2014). "National Industrial Court and Judicial Absolutism in Nigeria". Premium Times. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  4. ^ Kehinde, Oluwole (September 20, 2016). "Pre-Action Protocol and Right of Access to Court in Nigeria". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2017.