Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has stated that prompt and effective case adjudication will improve banking sector stability in Nigeria.
To “identify potential solutions to the problems and thereby ensure stability of the Nigerian banking and financial economy,” the CJN noted that time is of the essence for a cross-discussion of the legal and contextual issues, including the difficulties faced by operators and regulators of the banking and financial services sector in relation to the judicial system.
Ariwoola, who spoke at a capacity building workshop organized by JURIS LAW in collaboration with National Judicial Institute (NJI) for Justices and Judges of the Court of Appeal and Federal High Court on ‘Banking and Financial Services in Abuja, noted that the theme of the workshop, “The Role of the Judiciary in Banking Sector Reforms and Economic Growth in Nigeria” signifies the desire by relevant stakeholders to continuously improve the competence and capacity of judicial officers in the areas of substantive and procedural law, judicial ethics and skill as well as social context awareness of issues that are critical to the well-being of the country.
While stating that “the banking sector is operated based on the assurances of trust and confidence,” the CJN stressed that such trust and confidence “can be easily eroded where there are delays and inefficiencies in speedily resolving disputes arising from the sector.”
Justice Ariwoola, however, maintained that the Judiciary has proactively positioned itself to meet the challenges posed by the dynamics and innovations of the digital age by streamlining several rules of court so as to embrace and encourage quick methods of dispute resolution.
“Not only are courts becoming more automated, but our rules of court have grown to embrace IT solutions and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, among other tactics that promote more efficiency in the administration of justice,” the speaker claimed.
Earlier, Justice Salisu Abdullahi, Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), said that the workshop, which was sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Juris Law in partnership with the NJI, was intended to give bankers, financial experts, regulators, and other stakeholders in the banking and financial sector a forum to discuss and come to consensus on strategies that will best ensure the successful implementation of recent reforms relating to the s.
On his part, President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr Ken Opara, stated that the effective and timely determination of disputes bordering on financial system stability was crucial to the banking sector because it reduces the number of public funds to be expended on such matters.
While he called on the Judiciary to encourage mediation and conciliation mechanisms for dispute resolutions, Opara tasked the Judiciary to go digital and embrace online platforms to ease the filing of court processes to eradicate delays associated with manual processes.