Economic integration: FG canvasses unified business laws for Africa

The Federal Government says African countries must adopt unified business laws to enhance investment and promote greater economic integration.l

Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the opening of the 17th International Maritime Seminar for Judges.

‘If our business laws are harmonised, it will go a long way in enhancing international investment, reducing transportation and transactional costs.

‘It will also promote the ease of intra and inter African trade which is currently encouraged by African continental Free Trade Agreement, ‘ he said

Oyetola said the ministry was working to strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks of the agencies under the ministry.

He said the effort had led to 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.

The minister said, passage of the bill into law would maximise the gains of the ongoing reforms.

e Minister hailed the collaboration of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the National Judicial Institute since 1995 when the seminar was first held.

He said one of the objectives of the seminar was to educate and provide Justices and Judges of superior courts with ‘knowledge of contemporary development in the complex and dynamic subject of admiralty law and practice, as it affects administration of justice in Nigeria’.

‘The maritime sector is a complex and dynamic field that necessitates comprehensive legal and regulatory systems.

‘ As Justices and Judges, your role is indispensable in interpreting and applying maritime law to resolve disputes, uphold international standards, and promote justice,’ he said.

According to him, the seminar is a vital platform for exchanging knowledge, sharing best practices, and addressing the evolving legal issues that impact nation`s maritime domain.

The minister stressed that judges and justices, as guardians of the rule of law, played a crucial role in shaping the legal
landscape that governed nation`s maritime affairs.

Speaking, Sen. George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the maritime sector was a vital part of any economy endowed with marine resources.

According to him, the present administration recognised the essential role and economic significance of the maritime sub-sector in diversifying, revamping, and strengthening the economy.

‘It was in light of this that the administration of President Bola Tinubu established the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, tasked with exploring and harnessing the enormous potential of this critical revenue source.

‘This ministry is pivotal in driving economic growth and diversification and generating employment,’ he said

He assured that the Tinubu’s administration remained committed to fulfilling its international, regional, and sub-regional obligations, regarding the conventions, treaties, and agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria