Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Olabode Rhodes-Vivour has expressed concern about how corruption is increasing the cost of doing business in Nigeria.
According to him, corruption is a major bane of development, and it is counterproductive to maximum productivity and efficiency. He added that it increases the cost of doing business, limits economic growth, negatively impacts social wellbeing, destroys and distorts processes and procedures and robs the government of legitimate revenue.
He stressed the need for stakeholders in the maritime industry to take full advantage of technical technological advancements, including automation, which has the potential to eradicate corruption and other negative activities in the sector.
The retired jurist who stated this at the opening ceremony of the 16th International Maritime Seminar for Judges yesterday in Abuja stressed that stakeholders must ensure that all hands are on deck to get rid of any fraudulent and corrupt practices in the industry.
He said: “In the drive to achieve the maximum exploitation of the economic potentials of the maritime industry, full advantage must be taken of technological advancements, including automation, with its potential to eradicate corruption and other negative activities in the maritime sector. Corruption is a major bane of development, and it is counterproductive to maximum productivity and efficiency.”
Justice Rhodes-Vigour noted that to achieve a corrupt-free economy, all hands must be on deck to ensure smooth and consistent transition with technology including automation as it will help reduce negative activities, increase the ease of doing business by diminishing human contacts and increasing the efficiency, transparency and accountability.
In his address, the Acting Chief Judge of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola noted that the seminar was designed to acquaint the jurist with emerging trends in the sphere of Admiralty Law and the challenges that digitalisation and globalisation may throw up on the adjudication of admiralty matters.
He noted that maritime law in Nigeria, being a specialized area of the law, has witnessed novel developments in the recent past, taking into consideration the importance of the maritime industry as conventions like the Hamburg Rules as well as the enactment of important legislation like the Merchant Shipping Act; aside, of course, from contributing to the speedy adjudication of maritime disputes coming
He urged the National Judicial Institute to deepen the collaborative engagement with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, as doing so will no doubt aid the course of Justice and enhance the speedy dispensation of justice in Admiralty matters.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Emmanuel Jime said “the task of organizing and maintaining a high-quality event like this, is understandable, not an easy one. It requires enormous commitment, sacrifice, dedication and patriotic duty and responsibility.”