Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), on Monday, advocated constant training of judicial officers on oil and gas matters for effective adjudication and development of the sector.
They made the suggestion in Abuja while addressing delegates at the two-day workshop for the Nigeria Judiciary on Nigeria oil and Gas laws and regulation.
The theme of the workshop is: “Review of the Legal Instruments governing the operations of the Nigerian oil and gas Industry”, and organised by Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute.
Represented by Mr Mohammed Saidu, Director Legal, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the minister said the workshop was a step in the right direction.
“This workshop represents the Federal Government’s commitment to help the judiciary in order to enhance its competence in the administration of justice.
“This workshop will provide you new knowledge that will help you to tackle issues about the sector and also facilitate speedy dispensation of Justice,” he said.
Kachikwu added that there was the need to carry along judiciary officers in the oil and gas sector complexity replete with constant changes and new developments.
“The oil and gas sector has developed with the full participation of the indigenous companies and government has continued to ensure the local content policy is upheld.
“So, there is a need for constant training for officers to help bridge some Lacuna in administering justice as it relates to issues on oil and gas sector.”
He enjoined participants to utilise all that the workshop had to offer to help the growth and development of the country.
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria said that the oil and gas sector remained key to the development of the country and the judiciary critical to ensure effective adjudication on issues concerning the sector.
“The principal role of the Judiciary is adjudication and to discharge this effectively, officers must have a proper grasp of the law as it affects each sector.
Represented by Justice Zinab Adamu Bulkachuwa, president of the Court of Appeal, he said the theme of the conference was apt as the sector remained the major revenue source for the nation.
He called for more organised alternative ways of dispute resolution in the sector saying “this, would help build investors trust in the sector.
“The judiciary will play its role in ensuring strong oil and gas sector through the strong interpretation of the law while administering adjudication,” he said.
Justice Roseline Bozimo, the Administrator, National Judicial Institute, in her remarks, said that the focal point of the judiciary was to ensure justice.
She said that educating the judiciary on oil and gas issues was very commendable.
She said that the 2017 workshop helped to educate some of the officers adding that they look 2019 work with high expectation.
She assured strong collaboration of the PTDF and the NJI for effective development of the country.
Also, the Executive Secretary of PTDF Dr Bello Gusau said the workshop would provide an opportunity for participants to discuss broadly the major evolving aspects of the Nigerian petroleum industry including an overview of the oil and gas law.
He added that it would also look at the prospects of the midstream and downstream operations and overview of the domestic gas utilisation in Nigeria.
“On the second day of the workshop, participants will review the Nigerian oil and gas sector content act and will experience practical application of alternative dispute resolutions in the oil and gas industry,” he added
Gusau said that the resource persons for the workshop were beneficiaries of the PTDF human and Institutional capacity building programme and distinguished professionals in their respective fields.