By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The National Judicial Institute (NJI) has concluded plans for a workshop to equip Justices and Judges across the country, with the appropriate philosophy, legal, fiscal and regulatory issues that form the basis of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.
The NJI, in collaboration with Juris Law Office and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will be holding a National workshop for justices of Supreme, Court of Appeal as well as Federal High Court Judges, on the role of the Judiciary in the development of Local Content Law in the Oil and Gas Industry.
The workshop which would be declared open by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, March 6, will also have President, Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkhachuwa and the acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, in attendance.
A former Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Advisory Board of Juris Law Office, Justice Alfa Belgore, speaking on the relevance of the upcoming workshop, stated that for Nigerian Oil and Gas lndustry Content Development Act, and the NCDMB operational guidelines to be effectively implemented, it should be properly understood by the Nigerian judiciary.
Justice Belgore added that the Development Act was enacted to build, promote and develop in-country capacity through human capital development, technology transfer and job creation.
“Considering the enormous positive impact this legislation is intended to have in the country’s oil and gas industry, and by extension, the nation’s economy, clear understanding of the philosophy and intended objectives of the Act by our judges and justices is considered critical to its sound interpretation, effective compliance and enforcement.
“ NCDMB has tried since inception, using the carrot approach to get the operators and oil servicing companies to comply with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. It is time for the Judiciary to move the industry into the next gear by applying the stick within the rule of Law so that the objectives of the Local Content Act can be realized for the benefit of all ,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Founder of Juris Law Office and consultant to NCDMB, Niyi Ayoola-Daniels expressed satisfaction on the efforts and outstanding achievements of NCDMB.
He applauded the Executive Secretary, Engineer Simbi Kesiye Wabote, for driving positive change in the Local Content industry in Nigeria using the instrumentalilty of the Rule of Law and the Judiciary to ensure compliance by oil and gas industry stakeholders to the Local Content Act and NCDMB operational guidelines.
Going further in his statement, the visiting Professor of Energy Law and Policy, said that Nigerian judiciary also commends NCDMB for choosing to follow the rule of law in its dealings even as a regulator.
He added that his support for this workshop is a clear demonstration that NCDMB as an agency of the Federal Government will rather tow the path of rule of law than deploy other means to achieve its objective.