• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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CJN says judiciary’s role vital in banking transactions, movable assets

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has said that the country’s judiciary has a crucial role to play in securing banking transactions in movable assets and credit reporting.

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

Justice Muhammad said the financial sector and the entire economy stand to benefit from quick dispensation of justice in commercial or business transactions.

He 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”.

The CJN said credit reporting reforms in Nigeria require special attention from the judiciary.

According to him, credit reporting reform 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.

The CJN said the importance of the judiciary to the financial sector 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.

“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,” he said.

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.

According to her, the workshop is in line with the statutory mandate of the Institute to organise courses, workshops and conferences for the continuing judicial education of 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.

Justice Bozimo said the workshop provided a platform to share knowledge and cross fertilize ideas from other jurisdictions amongst stakeholders on how to ensure efficient adjudication of disputes arising from secured lending in moveable assets in Nigeria.

“The role of small and medium scale enterprises in building and sustaining a nation’s economy cannot be over emphasised. Research has shown that, Small and medium scale enterprises constitute about 80 percent of Nigerian businesses; therefore, they are very crucial to the sustenance of our economy.

“To this end, the Secured Transactions in Moveable Assets Act, 2017 was enacted to ultimately facilitate easy access to credit facilities by micro, small and medium scale enterprises. The introduction of the Act into the Nigerian legal system is a timely development that will pave the way for creditors to extend credit for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” she said.