By Olalekan Awojodu
The Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN Tuesday told stakeholders in the judicial system that it has a crucial role to play in securing transactions in movable assets and credit reporting.
The AGF further reiterated that it has become a collective duty to ensure that the potential and prospects of credit delivery are optimally realized in the country.
Malami stated this at the opening ceremony of the World Bank/CBN Two-Day Specialized Virtual Workshop for Judicial Officers on Secured Transactions in Movable Asset and Credit Reporting Reforms in Nigeria.
The virtual workshop is themed: “The Role of the Judiciary in Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Secured Transaction in Movable Assets and Credit Reporting Act”.
The virtual gathering has legal luminaries as well as giants in the Nigerian financial sector who all participated.
According to the minister, the STMA established the National Collateral Registry, to be responsible for receiving, registering and storing information and security interests in movable assets and provide access to persons who may seek information on security interests from the Registry; and performing other functions prescribed by regulations under the Act.
He said, “The on-going economic development strategy requires the joint efforts of the Central Bank, the Judiciary, and all stakeholders to make giant strides.
“I would like to specially thank the National Judicial Institute for organizing this virtual workshop in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank Group.
“I am pleased to share my perspective on some of the key issues regarding the role of the judiciary in the financial sector.
“Credit reporting reforms in Nigeria require special attention from the judiciary because of its critical position in the economy given that movable assets are involved. Small businesses require access to credit to thrive and the rights of the relevant parties to a transaction must be protected.
The Minister who stressed the importance of the judiciary to the financial sector added that its role 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,” the minister added.
While urging the judiciary to protect parties to a transaction and ensure fair and ethical standards, he pledged further that both Laws would facilitate and promote access to credit, promote responsibility in the market and encourage responsible borrowing.