Enforcing Contracts

Improved Judicial Process For Faster Dispute Resolution

With the introduction of small claims court by the Lagos State Judiciary & Kano State Judiciary in collaboration with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), resolving commercial disputes has become more faster, efficient, and affordable. The objective of the court is to improve the judicial process by providing easy access to cost-effective resolution of debt recovery disputes involving small claims of five million naira (N5m) and below.

Reforms that have been implemented for ease of Enforcing Contracts

Establishment of specialized small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano States.
  • Reduced time taken to resolve small commercial claims for SMEs to 60 days (by The Practice Directions) within which the entire proceedings (from trial to judgment) are to be concluded
  • Improved court efficiency and faster resolution of cases involving liquidated debts of N5 million and below
  • Decongestion in the matters brought before the High courts and magistrate courts
Simplified filing claims process
  • Forms have been provided which makes it easy for a claimant/plaintiff to complete the filing claim process
  • The process of filing a claim is now faster and easier as the court registrars have been trained to assist the claimants/plaintiffs through the simple process with the simplified forms provided
Efficient Case Management Procedures in small case courts in Lagos and Kano states
  • Introduction of pre-trial conference for specialized small claims commercial courts in Lagos and Kano States to discuss and give directions for hearing a claim or counterclaim when parties are unable to settle amicably
  • A lawyer is not necessarily needed in the court as the claimant/plaintiff can represent him/herself, thereby reducing cost and fast-tracking the process
  • Only one adjournment now allowed
Small claims commercial court handled by trained Magistrate and court officials
  • Under the Practice Directions, Magistrates are charged to promote, encourage and facilitate negotiation among the parties which fosters faster dispensation of commercial disputes
  • Increased efficiency and quicker resolution of disputes as the trained court registrars assist a claimant in filing claims process
Publication of Court of Appeal judgments online
  • Claimants/plaintiffs can easily have access to published Court of Appeal judgments electronically which fosters improved transparency and efficiency


Following the establishment of fifteen Small Claims Courts in Lagos in April 2018, 90% of judgments delivered from May to September were delivered within the 60-day timeline in compliance with the Lagos State Magistrates’ Courts Law (Practice Directions on Small Claims 2018).
Lagos State Judiciary
https://lagosjudiciary.gov.ng Lagos State Judiciary Oba Akinjobi Way Ikeja, Lagos +234 812 477 7984 support@lagosjudiciary.gov.ng Learn More
Kano State Judiciary
Audu Bako Secretariat, Nassarawa Road Kano +234 64 664549 Learn More
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