FG Moves to Tackle Corruption in Maritime Industry

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, Tuesday, in Abuja urged stakeholders in the maritime industry to work together in harmony to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices in the industry.

Akume, while speaking at the 17th edition of the International Maritime Seminar for Judges series, said that corruption was a significant impediment to development and efficiency in any society as it increases the cost of doing business, limits economic growth, negatively impacts social well-being, deprives the government of legitimate revenue and tarnishes the country’s image.

To this end he hinted that tackling corruption in the industry will boost development and efficiency in the maritime sector.

According to him, “I therefore, call on all stakeholders to work together harmoniously to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices from the maritime industry.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, stated that since the creation of the ministry, they have been working hard to strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks of the agencies under the ministry.

In this regard, Oyetola said his ministry has recently thrown its weight behind the repeal of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act CAP N113 LFN and the Enactment of the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill, 2024, in order to bring it up to speed with current realities and maximize the gains of the ongoing reforms when it is eventually passed in to law.

He therefore urged the judges from various jurisdictions, to provide a veritable platform for the harmonization and unification of business laws for greater economic integration.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Akutah Pius, explained that the gathering which has been happening for the last 32 years has brought together eminent jurists, experts in maritime law to discuss issues within the maritime law for the aim of educating the judges and practitioners in this field of law in order to promote the efficiency of the court proceedings in maritime law.

On the need for repeal of the Shippers Council Act, he said the maritime sector is fast moving as there are a lot of innovations and changes coming up in the sector, therefore the need for basic requirements that countries should adopt in their laws. 

He said: “We need to bring this law up to speed and bring it to the modern realities of the maritime sector.

“The president has found it necessary to focus attention on the maritime sector to grow the economy. Therefore, we need a very strong law that is capable of providing for the modern realities of the sector.”

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