By Godwin Oritse
THE Federal Government, through the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has commenced moves to harmonize maritime laws relating to international trade with a view to bringing about an efficient trade within the region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 15th International Maritime seminar for judges in Abuja the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, said that the Council, with the approval of the Federal Government, has concluded plans to approach other countries in the region to get their buy-in.
Bello said that a common maritime law within the sub-region will have a positive effect on trading activities, adding that it will also give the region the strength to speak in one voice to protect its trading interests within the region. “We need to bridge the legal gap so as to have an efficient international trading system in the region for the benefits of its importers and exporters” he said.
Justice Hassan Jallow, Chief Justice of the Republic of the Gambia, said the initiative is a welcome development adding that his country will give every necessary support.
Jallow also said that a forum needs to be created to discuss the hamonization of the international convention and domesticate it within the region.
He, however, called for the cooperation of other countries within the region to see to the fruition of the initiative.
Justice Sabiu Yahuza of the Federal High Court in Abuja said that the idea was a laudable one adding that the Nigerian Judiciary will give it as much support as possible.