Maritime Coalition Threatens Legal Action Against NSC Over Budgetary Allocations Amidst International Judicial Seminar in Abuja

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Today, on July 9, 2024, amidst the commencement of the 17th edition of the International Maritime Seminar for Judges in Abuja, a coalition of maritime practitioners, operating under the banner of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition, has issued a stern warning of legal action against the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC). The group accuses the NSC of misusing budgetary allocations, specifically criticizing the annual expenditure on seminars for judges rather than prioritizing shippers’ development and training.

The President of the coalition, Chief Dr. Osita Patrick Chukwu, expressed strong disapproval, labeling the seminars as a wasteful practice amidst the country’s economic challenges. He emphasized that such funds should be redirected towards enhancing the capabilities and protections of indigenous shippers and their service providers.

“This recurring expenditure on judicial seminars by the Shippers’ Council is unjustified and detrimental to our national economic goals,” Chief Osita remarked. “The Council’s primary role should be focused on regulating and advancing the interests of the maritime sector, not organizing lavish events.”

The International Maritime Seminar for Judges, organized by NSC in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI), aims to update judicial officers on contemporary issues in international maritime law and admiralty practice. The three-day event, chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, H.E Senator George Akume, will feature discussions led by eminent jurists, scholars, and maritime experts.

Mrs. Rebecca Adamu, Assistant Director of Public Relations at NSC, highlighted the seminar’s objectives, which include addressing complex issues such as trade facilitation in Nigerian seaports, the impact of technology and climate change on shipping, and effective dispute resolution mechanisms in maritime law.

Distinguished guests expected at the seminar include the Chief Justices from several West African nations, along with senior judges from Nigeria’s Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and Federal and State High Courts. Industry stakeholders, legal practitioners, and maritime professionals will also participate in the event.

Despite criticisms from the maritime coalition, NSC remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing judicial knowledge and capacity in maritime law, underscoring the importance of informed judicial decision-making for the industry’s sustainable growth and development.

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