Outdated, ill-defined laws, hindering maritime reforms, says CJN

Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed

Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed

Buhari pledges to transform sector

The Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mahmud Muhammed yesterday condemned “obsolete laws and regulations reflective of the by-gone era of a National Shipping carrier and a ‘closed shop’ approach to trade.”

Speaking yesterday at the 2016 Maritime Seminar for Judges, organized by the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) in collaboration with National Judicial Institute (NJI), Muhammed said, “There is a multiplicity of laws, empowering several agencies to perform roles that are ill-defined, confusing and duplicated thus creating an excessively bureaucratic and slow system, which is inimical to change.

“I therefore urge all relevant stakeholders, including our National Assembly, to devise rules suitable for sophisticated maritime countries.”

“We are told that the average turnaround time for vessel in Singapore is 46 hours, as compared with several days in Nigeria.”

Explaining further, the Chief Justice said: “We must enable competition to thrive, but seek to ensure that it is in accordance with acceptable norms for the prevention of damage to the ecosystem, pollution and the conveyance of contraband goods.”

Also at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari, declared that for Nigeria to achieve maximum productivity and efficiency in the maritime industry, there is need to get rid of fraudulent and corrupt practices.

Buhari, represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Taiwo Abidogun, said corruption is one of the enemies of economic development, noting that it increases cost of doing, “destroys ease of doing business, distort processes and procedure.”

The president identified piracy and other forms of armed attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, attacks on security personnel manning waterways as well as corrupt alliances between supervising officials and criminals on our waterways.

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