Nigerian Shippers Council Set To Ratify Rotterdam Rules

LAGOS: In order to include Nigeria as well as other African nations among countries that are already signatories to the Rotterdam Rules, the Nigerian Shippers Council has appealed to the Nigerian Maritime Law Association to assist the council in moving for the ratification of the convention in Nigeria, even as it says that steps are already being taken to ensure that the convention is given a regional flavor.

The Rotterdam Rules is a United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods by Sea, it is also a treaty comprising international rules that revises the legal and political framework for maritime carriage of goods, this is to extend and modernize international rules already in existence and achieve uniformity of admiralty law in the field of maritime carriage.

The Nigerian Shippers Council has however declared its intention of calling for a meeting of the rest African countries so as to come out with a draft instrument which will be the basis for Nigeria’s’ participation in the ratification of the all important convention.

This declaration came to the fore when top members of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association led by its president, Mr. Louis Mbanefo paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the Council, Capt Adamu Biu at his office in Lagos yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of the executive secretary, the Director of Legal Services of the council, Mr. Hassan Bello commended the association for haven contributed immensely in the past to the vigorous process of ensuring that important international conventions are ratified successfully in Nigeria.


He stressed the need for Nigeria to be a part of the new Rotterdam rules even as he appealed to the association to give the council the needed advice and corporation on how to ensure that the law is domesticated in Nigeria.

“We have already discussed with some countries like Ghana and Niger and Senegal, but in the council it is hoped that the Nigerian Maritime Law Association will provide the intellectual contribution as they have always done to see that this regional approach is harnessed so that we can have meaningful contributions”

“It is not sufficient for Nigeria to ratify while other African countries did not; the most important thing is for us to look at how the treaty was negotiated with African solidarity,

In few months to come, we are going to work with the National assembly, we are also going to incorporate the association and seek for their advice on how to go through it” Biu stated.

Responding, the president of the association, Mr. Louis Mbanifo expressed the readiness of the group in working with the National Assembly on the Rotterdam Rules and also assured that the association is going to assist the Shippers Council by explaining the technicalities of the rules to Nigerians and what the country stands to gain.

Speaking earlier, he commended the Nigerian Shippers Council over the consistent training of Nigerian lawyers through the continued organization of the yearly seminar for Judges.

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