The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has urged judges to encourage parties involved in cases in the oil and gas sector to seek alternative dispute resolution in resolving issues in the industry.
In his address at a two-day workshop for the Nigerian judiciary on Nigeria oil and gas laws and regulations, organised by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, in collaboration with National Judicial Institute recently in Abuja, Muhammad also charged justices and judges to be conversant with contemporary laws and procedures in the oil sector.
Mohammad, who was represented at the workshop by Justice Dongban Mensen, said judicial officers must be mindful of the fact that the bulk of Nigeria’s revenue came from the oil sector, pointing out that it was essential to sustain the confidence of investors in the industry.
“As we are all aware, the impact of the sector to our economy is certainly overwhelming and the need to sustain the development on a sound and effective judiciary is essential,” he said.
He added that it was important that judges and justices were skilled enough to adjudicate on disputes arising from the industry’s operations.
Muhammad assured stakeholders that the judiciary would play its role in ensuring stability in the oil and gas sector through the quick and fair adjudication of disputes in line with the laws governing the sector.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said the workshop would provide the judicial officials new knowledge and skills to dispense justice in an efficient manner for operators.
The minister, who spoke through the Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mohammed Saidu, noted that operations in the oil sector were dynamic, needing judges to also move with the latest trend, rules and regulations for the industry.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, PTDF, 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 laws.
He added that it would also look at the prospect of the mid and downstream operations and an overview of domestic gas utilisation in Nigeria.
“During 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,” Gusau added.