The federal government has said all obsolete laws inhibiting investment will be reformed to facilitate economic growth.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), declared this in Abuja yesterday at a workshop on the reform of the Sale of Goods Act in Nigeria organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC).
He expressed regret that 121 years after it was introduced as a statute of general application, the Act had not been reformed.
Adoke, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Sola Odugbesan, said: “It has neither been domesticated nor undergone any form of reform since its introduction into the country over 100 years ago.
“It is not in doubt that such law needs a reform in order to bring it into conformity with modern changes in the society.
“This reform exercise in line with one of the fundamental policies of the transformation agenda of the present administration is to promote the growth of commercial activities that translate to a boost in the economy.
“The delivery of quality law reform is pivotal to the actual inaction of the transformation agenda.”
He said the federal government was pleased with the reform of the various laws especially those that directly promote the growth and development of the nation’s economy.
Adoke commended the NLRC for its relentless efforts towards the fulfillment of its mandate through the delivery of quality law reform to the nation and assured the commission that “the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Justice is committed to giving the commission the required support to fulfill its mandate.”
The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, noted that the Sale of Goods Act 1893 had been repealed in the United Kingdom where it was first enacted.
He said the law was long due for amendment, noting that the Sale of Goods Act 1979 in operation in the UK had introduced mementos including the regulation of the English Contract Law and the UK Commercial Law.
He said the Nigeria Act had been criticised by jurists and legal scholars with the same conclusion that it was in need of reform.
Osunbor commended the initiator of the reform, Prof. Adeojo Olanrewaju of the Faculty of Law, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State for his efforts.
He said: “The proposals for reform include the introduction of provisions on the sale of undivided shares in goods forming part of a bulk, deemed consent by a co-owner to dealings in bulk good; sale and acceptance of commercial units of goods; partial rejection of goods; the definition and re-definition of certain words used in the Act and the deletion of the provisions on market overt, in line with the current societal realities and advancement in technology.”