The 3rd Annual Law Series

Discussions at the 3rd edition of the Annual Law Series focused on the global financial crisis and the attendant slump in the global economic output. Developing countries like Nigeria, which were previously imagined to be immune from the financial crisis, struggled to stay afloat in the ensuing economic turbulence; and the Nigerian capital market was considerably scarred, with its capitalization tumbling from a record N13.5 trillion to N4.6 trillion in 10 months. Over this period as well, Nigerian banks, owing to their huge exposure to the capital market, suffered huge losses.

Understandably therefore, the 2009 edition of the Annual Law Series was appropriately themed: Liberalisation or Regulation of Capital Market Instruments: the Policy Maker’s Dilemma in funding infrastructure

The main thrust of the 3rd edition was to focus on the efficacy of esoteric/contemporary financial instruments such as securitization and other credit derivatives in emerging economies, taking into account the occurrences within the global economy. This was in view of the fact that many pundits blamed the global financial crisis on the operation of these esoteric financial instruments. The 3rd edition of the Annual Law Series sought therefore to highlight practicable ways of averting the risks associated with these financial instruments while still reaping its benefits.

Leading the discussions on the topic was Mr. Vinod Kothari a leading international financial consultant and author; other speakers at the session included Mr. Bismark Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives; Mr. Ismail Radwan, a senior economist with the World Bank; Mr. Peter Epp, a partner with Herbert Smith LLP and Mr. Reginald Karawusa, as Assistant Director at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the Oil and Gas Session, the discussions centred on Alternative Funding Mechanism & Risk issues in the Oil & Gas Sector. Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, a former Minister of State for Energy led the discussions alongside Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, former Company Secretary/Legal Adviser; NNPC; Mr. Stéphane Brabant a Partner; Herbert Smith LLP; and  Mr. Augustine Avuru, CEO of Seplat  Petroleum.