Judiciary’s Role Vital in Banking Transactions, Movable Assets – AGF, Malami

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The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Tuesday said that the country’s judiciary has a crucial role to play in securing banking transactions in movable assets and credit reporting.

The AGF said that it has become a collective duty to ensure that the potential and prospects of credit delivery are optimally realised in the country.

Also, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, said the financial sector and the entire economy stand to benefit from quick dispensation of justice in commercial or business transactions.

They both spoke at the opening ceremony of the World Bank/CBN 2-Day Specialized Virtual Workshop for Judicial Officers on Secured Transactions in Movable Asset (STMA) and Credit Reporting Reforms in Nigeria.

The virtual workshop was themed: “The Role of the Judiciary in Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Secured Transaction in Movable Assets and Credit Reporting Act”.

According to the minister, the STMA established the National Collateral Registry, to be responsible for receiving, registering and storing information and security interests in movable assets and provide access to persons who may seek information on security interests from the Registry; and performing other functions prescribed by regulations under the Act.

He said: “The on-going economic development strategy requires the joint efforts of the Central Bank, the Judiciary, and all stakeholders to make giant strides.

“I would like to specially thank the National Judicial Institute(NJI) for organizing this virtual workshop in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank Group.

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“I am pleased to share my perspective on some of the key issues regarding the role of the judiciary in the financial sector.

“Credit reporting reforms in Nigeria require special attention from the judiciary because of its critical position in the economy given that movable assets are involved. Small businesses require access to credit to thrive and the rights of the relevant parties to a transaction must be protected.”

The minister, who stressed the importance of the judiciary to the financial sector, added that its role cannot be over-emphasized.

“Against this background, I wish to state that potential investors often hinge their decisions to come to Nigeria on enforceability of their rights in any commercial venture. Therefore, Courts must be versed with credit transactions principles, especially with the passage of the STMA Act and Credit Reporting Act, 2017.

“This means that there is need for the judiciary to be strengthened to help the financial sector protect credit transactions.

“The financial sector and indeed the entire economy stand to benefit from quick dispensation of justice in commercial or business transactions,” the minister added.

While urging the judiciary to protect parties to a transaction and ensure fair and ethical standards, he pledged further that both laws would facilitate and promote access to credit, promote responsibility in the market and encourage responsible borrowing.

Meanwhile, the CJN said the country’s financial sector stands to benefit from quick dispensation of justice in commercial transactions.

The CJN emphasised that credit reporting reforms in Nigeria require special attention from the judiciary and therefore stressed the need for quick dispensation of justice in the sector.

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According to him, credit reporting reforms is a critical position in the economy given that movable assets are involved.

He said small businesses in the country require access to credit to thrive and the rights of the relevant parties to a transaction must be protected.

”Against this background, I wish to state that potential investors often hinge their decisions to come to Nigeria on enforceability of their rights in any commercial venture.

”Therefore, courts must be versed with credit transactions principles, especially with the passage of the STMA Act and Credit Reporting Act, 2017.

”This means that there is need for the judiciary to be strengthened to help the financial sector protect credit transactions. The financial sector and indeed the entire economy stand to benefit from quick dispensation of justice in commercial or business transactions.

”As access to credit is necessary for the economic development of Nigeria, it behoves the judiciary to protect parties to a transaction and ensure fair and ethical standards.

“The purpose of both Laws is to facilitate and promote access to credit and enhance risk management in credit transactions. The protection of the rights of parties in a credit transaction would promote responsibility in the market and encourage responsible borrowing.

The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Roseline Bozimo, commended the management and staff of the Juris Law Office for sustaining the mutual cooperation and collaboration in organising workshops for Judicial Officers, thereby contributing in no small measure to deepening the jurisprudence of our Judicial Officers.

She said the principal objective of moveable assets financing laws globally is to contribute to the sustainability and stability of the financial system of every economy while protecting investors and financiers alike.

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