Gbemisola Saraki, the minister of state for transportation, has called on the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of maritime-related cases.
Giving her note speech at the 16th International Maritime Seminar for Judges organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Abuja, on Tuesday, she said this was due to the fact that international trade is time-bound and leads to loss of money.
The minister, who was represented by the director of Procurement of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Hussein Adamu, commended the Nigerian Shippers Council and the National Judicial Institute for putting the Seminar together for the benefit of the maritime industry.
There is a need for capacity building in the maritime industry. It is common knowledge that most of our maritime transportation is conducted by foreign shipowners, thereby limiting the economic benefits accruable to the nation and the sub-region in areas such as the creation of jobs through freight and insurance earnings, ” she said.
According to her, the present administration is looking into ways of encouraging the establishment of a private sector-driven national shipping line to ensure maximum exploitation of the potential in the maritime industry.
“A Ministerial Committee has been working on this important initiative and we look forward to having their concrete recommendations for immediate implementation,” she said.
Saraki urged the judicial system to ensure speedy and efficient dispensation of maritime matters by the courts because in international commercial transactions, time is money and important.
Saraki said the seminar has created a veritable forum where prominent jurists and legal luminaries rub minds on how to enhance the competitiveness and economic viability of the maritime industry.
“The importance of speedy and efficient dispensation of maritime matters by the courts can never be over-emphasized because, as we all know, in nd it is even more so in a multi-billion dollar industry like ours,” she added.
She continued, “I must commend the sustainability of the partnership between the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and National Judicial Institute which dates back to 1995. This strategic partnership stemmed from the recognition of the need to especially furnish our judicial officers with the requisite knowledge to assist them in facilitating expeditious dispensation of justice in maritime causes in our courts.