Onnoghen, Gusau warn of inevitable disputes in oil, gas sector
Seek modern regulations to address threats
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and other judges as well as oil and gas experts led by the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Bello Gusau, have cautioned against inevitable disputes in the oil and gas sector.
They insisted that unless stakeholders in the industry, especially judges, prepare for the new innovations in the country’s oil and gas sector, projected economic benefits may remain elusive.
Onnoghen, who delivered a keynote address yesterday in Abuja at a workshop organised by the PTDF to enhance the roles of the judiciary in the oil and gas sector, stated that prevailing situation would introduce new legal regimes capable of impacting the quality of justice delivery in the country.
The CJN stated that the new innovation in the sector must force judges to ensure speedy resolution of disputes.According to him, prompt actions by judges will serve as an economic development mechanism, as investors and other major players in the industry will remain confident that their investments are safe.
He said: “I make bold to say, without any fear of contradiction, that the Nigerian judiciary is a key partner in ensuring stability in the oil and gas sector by interpretation of the relevant laws in the industry.”
Gusau, who stressed the need for the workshop, stated that role of the judges in championing the growth of the sector remained key.He noted that it would be imperative for judicial officers to keep abreast of the emerging challenges regarding the relationships in the sector.
“The Nigerian oil and gas industry is presently undergoing very major and fundamental changes, including the introduction of series of new legislations that would govern the operations of the industry. All these coming legislations will eventually come before your Lordships for possible interpretation and adjudication,” Gusau said.
In a related vein, the Administrator, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Rosaline Bozimo, insisted that the sector is seriously in need of modern regulations to address emerging trends and threats.
According to her, the regulatory framework for the oil and gas sector remains fraught with the need for modernisation to address emerging trends and threats that face the sector.
Bozimo noted that the sector remained a necessity to Nigerians as the country’s major source of revenue revolves around it.She bemoaned the impact of oil spillage and environmental degradation, which remained recurring decimal in the oil producing regions of the country.
“Our judges need to be better acquainted with these developments in the oil and gas sector in order to better perform their adjudicatory duties, noting that as society evolves, we must also continue to be dynamic in order to adequately address the conflicts that will inevitably arise,” Bozimo said.
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