Right of Way: NIWA Reaffirms Protection For Waterways Investors

NIWA Reassure Waterways Investors Of Protection
Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief George Moghalu

By Kenneth Jukpor

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has reassured stakeholders in possession of its approvals on the right of way of adequate protection to secure their projects and investments against unbridled harassment from parties.

NIWA’s Managing Director, Chief George Moghalu gave this assurance in a brief statement issued in Lagos on Monday.

Moghalu recalled that NIWA 2014 judgement captured in suit CA/L/886/2014- Lagos Waterways Authority and 3 ORS V INC Trustees of Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria and 5 ORS.

The NIWA boss noted that the court had vested the right of all waterways in Nigeria and shorelines to NIWA and therefore warned all trespassers to be well guided or prepare to face the wrath of the federal government.

His words: “We at NIWA hereby reassure our clients and stakeholders of the protection of their investment and workforce. We shall within the laws and constitutional provisions, ensure that we keep trespassers out of our Right of Way and may where necessary deploy the Federal might to bring the oppositions to adhere to do right things. Also, we shall put a stop further intimidation of federal government licensed stakeholders.'”

Speaking further on the Court of Appeal judgement, he said the judges of the Court of Appeal in the iconic judgement without any ambiguity stated that Lagos Lagoon and Lekki lagoons were exclusively under the control of NIWA.

He further explained in the areas of competence of both governments – Federal and State in the following word, Item 5 in the Second Schedule to the National Inland Waterways Act is the relevant provision for the navigable route that falls under the exclusive legislative list.

“The intra coastal route from Badagry, along the Badagry Creek to Lagos through Lagos Lagoon to Epe, Lekki Lagoon to Iwopin along Omu/Creek Talifa Lively to Ajilete , Akata, Aboko, Arogbo, Ofunama Benin Creek to Warri. Also the canal running from Araromi through Aiyetoro. Imelumo to Benin River and from Aiyetoro through Mahin Lagoon to Igbokoda.”

“This route runs through International and states boundaries and is therefore consistent being an item on the exclusive legislative list, while the revenue accruable from this federal route is payable to the Federal Waterways Authority.*

“The court had emphasized that it is only All other inland waterways within Lagos State are within the legislative competence of the Lagos State House of Assembly and any revenue accruable therefrom I payable to the Lagos State Waterways Authority,” he added.

Moghalu stressed that NIWA Lagos Office maintains a clear vision of its mandate and had given all stakeholders the opportunity and enabling environment to join in the campaign to promote sanity and rule of law on Lagos waterways and its shorelines management.

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