FG commissions National Depository of Treaties
• Reps set to review treaties, protocols, agreements entered into by FG
In line with the tenets of Open Government Partnership and access to justice which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to uphold, the Federal Government, on Tuesday commissioned the National Depository of Treaties.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the electronic National Depository of Treaties will serve as the depository of all treaties entered into between the Federal Government and any other country in line with Section 4 of the Treaties (Making Procedure, Etc.) Act Cap. T20 Laws of the Federation (LFN) 2004.
The Minister reiterated the need for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to transmit to the National Depository of Treaties domiciled in Federal Ministry of Justice all executed agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, and treaties in their custody and those to be entered in the future in their original form.
This, he said is in further compliance with the Service-wide, Circular Reference No. HCSF/LU/FEC/M/938 dated 2nd March 2017 issued by the head of the civil service of the Federation as directed by the Federal Executive Council.
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He expressed the hope that the National Depository of Treaties will soon be in the cloud for a more global outlook and accessibility from any part of the world, adding that, “It is about transparency, accessibility and order.
“The goals of this noble project are to, achieve functional national depository of treaties, maintain a comprehensive/updated register of treaties and to ensure that all treaties, agreement and protocols entered into by the Government are preserved,” he said.
In his remarks, the chairman, House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Rt. Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, said his committee has commenced the process of reviewing all treaties, protocols and agreements entered into by the federal government.
“We will, in the coming weeks organise a special public hearing amongst other things to review existing treaties and ascertain status implementation, discuss ways to ensure that our treaties making procedures are harmonised and are in compliance with relevant laws,” he said.
Ossai said his committee will also develop a national policy on arbitration to help protect Nigeria’s interest on all bilateral/multilateral investment treaties.
He pointed out that over 400 treaties, protocols and agreements entered into by successive government in Nigeria are yet to be ratified or domesticated and called for collaboration between the executive and the legislature in order to promote shared knowledge and make it easy for ratification/domestication where necessary.