Questioning Maritime Law, Practice in Nigeria | The Guardian Nigeria News

Book Title: Modern Maritime Law and Practice in Nigeria
Publisher: University of Lagos Press
Publication year: 2020
Place of publication: Lagos, Nigeria
Author: Ajuzie Chizoba Osondu
Pages: 473 (excluding preliminary pages)
Number of chapters: 12
Reviewer: Professor Paul C. Ananaba (SAN)


The book, in 12 chapters, examines current issues in maritime regulation in Nigeria. The first chapter questions the meaning and brief history of maritime law.

It addresses issues such as the meaning of maritime law; the reason for its appearance; the distinction between maritime law and maritime law; the origin and development of international maritime law; the history of English maritime law; the origin and development of Nigerian maritime jurisdiction; creation of the Federal Revenue Court, controversy over admiralty jurisdiction and resolution of the controversy; the bases of the present exclusive admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court and the extent of that jurisdiction.

The second chapter examines the national legal and institutional framework. It outlines topical issues such as a constitutional and legislative framework for maritime regulation in Nigeria; national maritime regulatory institutions, such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), etc. ; Admiralty jurisdiction regulatory statutes, such as NIMASA Act, Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act; Merchant Shipping Act, et cetera; national marine pollution prevention laws; maritime cabotage, among other topical issues.

Chapter three focuses on the international legal and institutional framework. It features topics such as international maritime regulatory instruments, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); instruments for the protection of the marine environment against pollution, such as the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC Convention), the International Convention Establishing an International Compensation Fund for Oil Pollution from oil pollution (the Convention Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), etc.; instruments relating to the safety of life at sea, such as the United Nations Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), International Convention on Search and Rescue at Sea (SAR) and many others.

Chapter 4 deals with issues related to maritime zones and boundaries, with particular reference to the definition of the maritime boundary; applicable laws, such as UNCLOS; delimitation of international maritime boundaries with particular reference to baseline, internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, continental shelf, high seas, area, straits international, archipelagic states, island regime and closed and semi-closed states, and landlocked states, the land and maritime borders of Nigeria, and the economic potentials arising from the maritime areas of Nigeria, such as the continental shelf and its seabed resources.

Chapter 5 deals with international conventions applicable to contracts of carriage by sea, with particular reference to the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading of 1924 (The Hague Rules), its First and Second Protocols of 1968 and 1979 (Hague Rules/Visby Rules), the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea of ​​1978 (Hamburg Rules), comparison of the Hague/Visby and Hamburg Rules, and the Convention on United Nations on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (The Rotterdam Rules).

In Chapter 10, the book delves into the process of owning and managing ships, while Chapter 11 dwells on the elements of “SalTowPil”. “SalTowPil” is an abbreviated form of salvage, towing and piloting coined by the author. The discussions in this chapter focus on recovery operations; towing operations; Pilotage Operations and Wreck Operations and Chapter 12 examines practice and procedure in Admiralty Courts.

I strongly recommend that the book be of immense benefit and assistance to legal practitioners in the field of maritime/admiralty law, lecturers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, maritime practitioners, administrators and Federal and State Justice Agencies, Judges and Ministries, Officials from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority, Shipowners Associations, Nigerian Shippers Council; maritime training institutions, such as the Maritime University of Nigeria, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, as well as the general interest reader.

Jon J. Epps