From left: Former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and the Chair of Panel, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola at the  7th Strategic Admiralty Law Seminar for Judges organized by NIMASA in collaboration with NIALS in Lagos recently

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, is taking deliberate steps to work with the judiciary and other arms of the Government to reposition the nation’s maritime industry, by providing necessary updates on information and law in the industry, says the Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.

The DG made this assurance while speaking at the opening session of the 7th Strategic Admiralty Law Seminal for Judges with the theme “Towards effective Admiralty in a Blue Economy” jointly organised by the agency and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies NIALS, held in Lagos.

He stated that in initiating the seminar, the agency observed the complex and time -sensitiveness of maritime issues and the consequent requirement for prompt resolutions.

“In initiating this event, the agency is not unaware of the complex and time sensitive nature of maritime issues and their attendant requirement for speedy resolutions 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 economic exigencies, but also on judicial officers responsible for balancing important notions of justice, contract and the law”, he said

It was furthered that the objective of the seminar, which has held over the years is to sensitise the target judges on contemporary maritime law issues both within and outside the Nigerian jurisdiction since shipping is a multi-jurisdictional enterprise.

He further added that in line with NIMASA’s commitment towards ensuring capacity building for critical stakeholders, the Agency decided to expand the scope of attendees to cover Justices 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 Federal 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” Peterside also said.

The DG argued 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 recognise the need for increased partnership and collaboration amongst all stakeholders – the Judiciary inclusive, in the actualisation of our collective vision for environmental, social and economic growth and the sustainability of our shipping and maritime transport sector in a Blue Economy.

Meanwhile, the Director General of NIALS, Prof. Deji Adekunle, who spoke at the event, commended the NIMASA management for continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders to advance the Nation’s maritime 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 among other notable legal experts.