The Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, as well as the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, have
stated that an independent and corrupt free Judiciary will go a long way to boost the growth of the maritime sector.

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They made this position known at the 17th edition of the International Maritime Seminar for Judges series organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute.

The SGF said, “corruption is a significant impediment to development and efficiency in any society as it increase the cost of doing business, limits economic growth, negatively impacts social well-being, deprives the government of legitimate revenue and tarnishes the country’s image.”

He called on all stakeholders to work together harmoniously to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices from the maritime industry.

While pointing out that the maritime sector plays a vital part of the economy, he maintained that the current administration recognize the essential role and economic significance of the maritime sub-sector in diversifying, revamping, and strengthening the economy.

On his part, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy Gboyega Oyetola admitted that the maritime sector is a complex and dynamic field that necessitates comprehensive legal and regulatory systems.

He noted that the role of Justices and Judges is indispensable in interpreting and applying maritime law to resolve disputes, uphold international standards, and promote justice.

He observed that maritime law is not just about resolving conflicts at sea, saying that it include safeguarding the rights and responsibilities of nations, corporations, and individuals as well as ensure the protection of the marine environment.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers Council, Mr Pius Akutah, in his remarks, recalled that because of the recommendations of this conference , Nigeria currently has the admiralty rules in the federal high court.

Speaking on the current Nigeria Shippers Council Act, he said the Act promulgated in 1978 and given that the maritime sector is moving as there are lots of innovations coming up in the sector,

“So many changes even in terms of conventions were adopted over the years and there are basic requirements that the country should adopted in their laws.

“We need to bring the laws to speed and bring it to the modern realities of the maritime sector most importantly the President has found it necessary to focus on the blue economy to grow the economy therefore we need a strong law that is capable of bringing the maritime sector to the current realities.

“We are hoping that the law will give us the regulatory framework for the sector so that businesses will grow and the Nigeria maritime sector will be better for it”, he said.