Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has assured that the federal government was committed to ensuring that the capacity of the nation’s judicial officers was enhanced in order to improve their competence and thereby provide an effective and efficient administration of justice.
Kachikwu stated this on Monday while speaking at a 2-day workshop organised by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
The minister, who was represented by the director, Legal Services, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Muhammed Saidu, said the workshop which is the second in the series of training for the members of the Bench was expected to provide participants with new knowledge and skills, capable of developing and enhancing the Judges` competencies for speedy dispensation of justice.
“As officers of Justice, it is expected that you dispense justice in a more effective and judicial manner in line with our judicial guidelines,” he said.
He noted, that effective and efficient justice system can only be achieved through training and re-training and by attending workshop of this kind.
“The Nigerian oil and gas industry is a dynamic industry, such that the exploration, production and contraction processes are complex and rapidly changing, the need for your lordship to be up-to-date with the current happening of the industry cannot be over-emphasized.
“You will agree with me that there is need for trainings in other to address the lacuna in terms of capacity building, this workshop will extensively look into major challenges in the administration of Justice as its relates to the Nigeria oil and gas industry, the
workshop will also look into alternative dispute resolution more particularly, administration in the oil and gas argument,” he explained.
In his welcome address, the executive director, PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau, stated that the operations of the oil and gas sector was complex, stressing that it also has complex relationships of new laws regulations and guideline.
He therefore charged the Judicial system to align with the evolving changes in the discharge of their duties.
Bello noted that with the evolving laws and procedures regulating the industry, the judicial system as a major stakeholder on legal issues, must make laws that correspond with these changes.
“The operations and legal relationships are constantly evolving, thus laws regulations and guidelines must correspond with the change, and the judicial system must also evolve with these changes,” he added.
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammed, represented by Justice M B Dongban Mensen, noted that the collaboration with PTDF was an alliance geared towards capacity building for Justices and Judges to enable them keep abreast with contemporary laws and procedures regulating the oil and gas sector.
“As we all are aware the impact of the sector to our economy is certainly overwhelming and the need to sustain the development on a sound and effective judiciary is essential,” he said.
Justice Muhammed further stated that in considering the high-risk, complex operation and gamut of legal issues that would arise from the activities of the different component of the oil and gas sector, there was the need for Nigeria’s Justices and Judges to be sufficiently skilled and proficient at all levels of the sector.
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