Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva flagged off a two-day capacity building workshop for legal officers in the Federal Ministry of Justice with a call on the participants to exercise caution in drafting legal instruments by avoiding clauses that create undue acrimony in the administration of oil and gas related cases.

The workshop was organized by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) for counsels in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and other key stakeholders. PTDF is mandated to build capacity in the oil and gas industry.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources who was represented by Engr. Moses Olamide, the Senior Technical Assistant/Chief of staff said as officers responsible for drafting laws in the ministry of justice it is pertinent to look at the issues more critically and address those lacunas that create avoidable arguments and acrimonies in litigations. “It is better we do all the negotiations, reconciliations and conciliations that are possible before we sign off our laws. It will reduce a lot of acrimony and fighting in the industry. So, it’s better we write our laws very clearly than to go into the courts and be arguing with ourselves and I believe this workshop will look at those clauses in our laws that constitute bubble points in our legal system

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) said the workshop is relevant as an effective tool to train and position lawyers in the ministry to efficiently handle cases related to oil and gas sector. These include prosecution of offences related to oil and gas activities, contractual obligations, arbitration and other means of dispute resolutions as well as effective understanding and application of the various legislations in the industry.

“I urge PTDF to sustain this workshop and make it a yearly activity and include para-legal officers in the ministry. Participation in the workshop should be extended to private legal practitioners”

Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau said the Fund found it expedient to extend its capacity building initiative to legal officers in order to keep them abreast with evolving legislations governing the oil and gas industry.

we have just passed a very landmark legislation the deep offshore amendment Act that will have tremendous impact not only in the operations of the industry but on the national economy as a whole. There are many other key national legislations that are also on their way, so it is important that we understand how the laws are evolving. That is why it is important that legal practitioners are kept abreast of happenings in the industry