Fundamental elements of agency relations under Nigerian
Senior lecturer Matthew Enya NWOCHA1
This paper is informed by the need to highligh t, clarify and evaluate key aspects of
the Nigeria n law of agency a gainst the ba ckground of the increasing usa ge of the services
provided by agents in the prog ressively complex commercial transa ctions in a n er a of
globalization. The paper has found that contemporary business deals and contracts ha ve
increasing ly depended on agency services and has, ther efore, explored the a ttitude of
Nigerian Cour ts to various significant a spects of agency rela tionship for the pr oper
enlightenment of parties to contracts of a gency who may be inter ested in doing business in
Nigeria an d on the international pla tform.
Keywords: Agency, disclosed principa l, tortuous liability, contra ct of agency, indemnity.
JEL Classification: K22, K34
Nigerian law of agency is founded principally on common law and judicial
precedent. Agency relations have today assumed currency in the public domain and
command attention under contemporary Nigerian commercial law. This is mainly
due to increasing demand for agency services and the growing complexity and, for
that matter, indispensability accompanying its utilization in Nigeria as in other
developing economies. As the frontiers of international trade expand, increasing
number of businessmen and corporate institutions from across the globe find it
progressively indispensable to deal and relate with each other through agents. This
has been necessitated by the need to reduce the distance of travels and minimize
the stress of inspection of goods produced abroad prior to purchase. Though high
technology communication systems and social media have come in handy to
mitigate the hardship of long distance journeys, it has not supplanted the vital role
that agents can play in this regard. More so, the expertise, technical know-how and
specialized services which only agents can offer continue to make them
indispensable in modern day commercial transactions both in Nigeria and globally.
This paper evaluates fundamental elements of the law relating to agency in Nigeria,
and examines the role and relevance of agents in commercial transactions in the
1 Matthew Enya Nwocha – Head of Department, Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of
Law, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria, email@example.com.