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Buhari to Judges: We’ll lose foreign investors if our justice system is ineffective

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that an efficient justice sector can further attract foreign investors to Nigeria.

This was contained in a keynote address delivered on Monday by vice-president Yemi Osinbajo at the 2021 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference in Abuja.

Buhari said there is a need for the judiciary to evolve strategies that would enhance justice delivery system in the country.

“We are part of the global marketplace for investment and legal services,” he said.

“The extent to which we can attract business to our country depends in part upon investor perception of the quality of our justice delivery system.

“If we are seen as inefficient and ineffective, we would lose out to more efficient systems.”

Buhari also said huge “deterrent costs” should be imposed on lawyers that help litigants to unduly delay cases.

“As my lords are aware, delay in the dispensation of justice, coupled with the increase in the number of cases in our courts, have remained subject of grave concern,” he said.

“As someone said, our problem is not access to justice, it is exiting the justice system. And I know that the delays are not necessarily the fault of the judges. Lawyers are often also responsible.

“Should we not then, as has been suggested by some, evolve a court award system that recognises the court as the final and extensive public resort, and as such, delays and other dielectric tactics are visited with deterrent costs?”

The president added that the federal government is doing a lot to address the challenges in the justice sector.

“I am not unaware of the number of challenges slowing the pace of transformation in our administration of the justice system. More needs to be done to strike a sound balance between a high level of productivity, the quality of judicial decisions, and careful consideration of cases,” he said.

“My administration, through the federal ministry of justice in collaboration with the National Judicial Council, has been working towards the resolution of these challenges.”

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