By Yemi Akinsuyi
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the Agency is taking deliberate steps to work with the Judi-ciary and other arms of government to reposition Nigeria’s mar-itime industry, by providing necessary updates on information and law in the maritime sector.
Speaking at the opening of the 7th Strategic Admiralty Law Seminal for Judges with the theme “ Towards effective Admi-ralty in a Blue Economy” organised jointly by NIMASA and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) which held in Lagos, Peterside stated that in initiating the semi-nar, the Agency noted the complex and time sensitiveness of maritime issue and the consequent requirement for prompt reso-lutions.
According to the DG: “In initiating this event, the Agency is not unaware of the complex and time sensitive nature of mari-time issues and their attendant requirement for speedy resolu-tions often through judicial pronouncements by superior courts of records. The scenario no doubt puts pressure not only on those entrusted with the responsibility of responding to the eco-nomic exigencies, but also on judicial officers responsible for balancing important notions of justice, contract and the law”
The DG also noted that the objective of the seminar over the years has been to sensitize the target Judges on contemporary maritime law issues both within and outside the Nigerian Juris-diction as shipping is a multi-jurisdictional enterprise.
He further added that in line with NIMASA’s commitment to-wards ensuring capacity building for critical stakeholders, the Agency decided to expand the scope of attendees to cover Jus-tices of the Court of Appeal because of their critical roles in the dispensation of justice.
“This seminar was initiated by NIMASA for Judges of the Fed-eral High Court bearing in mind the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court over Admiralty matters. Over the years however, the participating audience was expanded to include Judges of the State High Courts of littoral states of the Federation and now Justices of the Court of Appeal because of their critical roles in the dispensation of justice in admiralty matters” he said.
The DG opined that notwithstanding the stride being made by the Agency in the area of safety and security of the Nigerian maritime domain, the Management of the Agency equally rec-ognize the need for increased partnership and collaboration amongst all stakeholders – the Judiciary inclusive, in the actual-isation of our collective vision for environmental, social and economic growth and the sustainability of our shipping and maritime transport sector in a Blue Economy.
Earlier in his remarks, the DG NIALS, Prof. Deji Adekunle commended the NIMASA leadership for continuous collabora-tion with relevant stakeholders to advance the Nation’s mari-time industry. He said the institute will continue to collaborate with the Agency and provide necessary assistance to NIMASA in its bid to ensure a safe and secure maritime space.
It should be noted that the Strategic Admiralty Law Seminar for Judges is an initiative of NIMASA designed to sensitize judges on maritime law issues. This year’s event is the 7th of the series and it is organised by NIMASA in collaboration with NIALS. Present at the event include; Former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola amongst other notable legal luminaries.