The 4th Annual Law Series

Against the backdrop of the far reaching reforms of the banking sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Annual Law Series focussed on the apex bank’s interventions in those banks whose practices threatened a wider systemic failure of the entire banking system.

While these efforts were clearly necessary to prevent the collapse of the entire system, the 4th edition of the Annual Law Series examined the delicate balance needed to be struck between more regulations to control the excesses of financial institutions and the need for financial institutions to be liberated from regulatory oversight so that free markets can control the behaviour of their participants.

At the same edition, the Series reappraised the petroleum industry regulations with particular focus on the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, the local content policy and new fiscal regime it seeks to introduce. This proposed fiscal regime provides tax regulations which will simplify tax assessment, computation and payments.  The 4th edition beamed attention at the manifest effects of these proposed changes in the banking and oil & gas industries and considered methods of sustaining the momentum achieved by these reforms. It was thus appropriately themed Sustaining the objectives of reforms.

The event bore two unique features: unlike previous editions, the 4th edition was a one day event divided into two sessions and second; it was the first edition to be hosted outside Lagos with the venue being Abuja.

The keynote address at the Finance session was delivered by Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, Deputy Governor FSS, Central Bank of Nigeria and Professor Graham Penn, delivered a paper on a comparative analysis of the methods used in bailing out financial institutions and stimulating the economy. Also speaking at the event was Mr. Ismail Radwan, of the World Bank’s Africa Finance and Private Sector Unit.

Speakers at the Oil & Gas Session included Dr. Rilwan Lukman, Minister of Petroleum; Mr. George Osahon, former Group General Manager, Nigerian Content Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; and a legal practitioner, Mr. Chiagozie Ferdinanrd Hillary, a Partner at the law firm of Streamsowers & Kohn.