Recently, the Nigerian Court of Appeal has extended the scope of non-arbitrability in Nigeria to tax disputes by virtue of its recent pronouncements in Esso Petroleum and Production Nigeria Ltd & SNEPCO vs. NNPC8 [“Esso”] and Shell (Nig.) Exploration and Production Ltd & 3 others vs. Federal Inland Revenue Service9 [“Shell”]. The court found that the disputes submitted to arbitration in both cases are tax related and therefore not arbitrable in Nigeria on the basis of the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court on taxation.

The author seeks to comment on the pronouncements that tax disputes are not arbitrable on the basis of the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in tax disputes. The author also seeks to examine the findings of the court that the disputes in both cases are tax related and therefore not arbitrable.

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