Former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan, has commended the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for hosting the Maritime Seminar for Judges and has called on the management of the NSC to make it an annual event.
Shonekan, who made the call recently when he received the management of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) who paid a courtesy call on him in Lagos, also urged the council to collaborate with landlocked countries especially in the area of transit of their cargoes.
He described maritime as a very strategic aspect of the Nigerian economy, adding that incorporating non-English speaking African Countries such as Angola and Mozambique in capacity building will be of tremendous benefit for Nigeria and the affected countries.
The former Head of State also challenged individuals and corporate organisations in the maritime sector in Nigeria to take advantage of the growth recorded in the Nigerian economy.
Making reference to the proposed Maritime Seminar for Judges organized by NSC and scheduled to hold between June 10-12, 2014, in Abuja, Shonekan said conflict resolution is key in every business transactions.
According to the former Head of State, understanding the maritime sector will go a long way in helping the judges adjudicate in time of disputes.
He said the growth in the Nigerian economy is a signpost to more business opportunities for the shipping sector.
“The seven per cent growth in Nigeria’s economy means more business for the maritime industry. People have to bring business by ship. That means more work, more jobs are being created,” he stated.
Shonekan said bringing the judges together for a seminar form part of NSC’s contributions to the development of the Nigeria judiciary, pointing out that not all judges are experts in maritime matters.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello to make the bi-annual programme a yearly event.
Responding, Bello pledged the commitment of the council to open a secretariat charged with the responsibility of coordinating the event.
He also briefed Shonekan on the preparations and proposed programme of event such as guest speakers and topics they are expected to address during the two-day event.