Lagos State House of Assembly overstepping its mandate ― NIWA

The unending face-off between the National inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA) and the Lagos State government over dredging activities may enter another phase as the Federal Government waterways regulatory agency frowned at the attempt by the Lagos State House of Assembly to overstep its mandate on the extant mining laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which mandates only NIWA to oversight access through the waterways.

In a letter written to the Lagos State Government and copies mailed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, NIWA stated that the latest irritation is a sequel to moves by Lagos State House of Assembly to ambush the regulatory powers of NIWA and at the same time interfere in the activities of dredging companies through the composition of a seven-man committee to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in Lagos State.

According to the letter signed by the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu on Tuesday, the agency called on the Lagos State government to caution the leadership of it’s State House of Assembly to stop forthwith the current posturing which is a clear breach of a peaceful resolution between NIWA and Lagos State government over a clash of interest on dredging and sundry waterway matters.

Detailing the background to the current impasse, Dr George Moghalu stated that, “As a prelude to the full understanding of the matter under reference, you would recall that there was a recent clash between National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Lagos State Waterfront and Infrastructure Development during which our staff and indeed companies registered with us were arrested by your staff and arraigned before special offences court, the resolution of that imbroglio I believe is still under consideration.”‘

Warning however that Lagos State House of Assembly attempt may position logs in the ongoing efforts to reach an amicable settlement of vexed issues at hand, the NIWA boss drew the attention of the state government to the extant laws on Minerals and Mining Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which clearly states that where there are issues arising from the operations of any licenced operator of the Federal Government, Section 141 of the Act and sections 15, 16 and 17 of the regulation made pursuant to the above Act has made copious provision for its resolution.

Dr George Moghalu further informed the Lagos State government that a ruling of the court of Appeal in Mining cadastral office vs Petroleum and Transport Investment LTD and another (2018) LPEIR 46046 which cleared the air on the vexed issue and further recognizes waterway use permit exclusively within the ambit of NIWA.

“May I in simple words, emphasize that matters within the exclusive list of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are outside the legislative competence of the State government as they are within the competence of the National assembly, Dr Moghalu restated, urging the state government to respectfully forward his observation to the leadership of the State House of Assembly.

COVID-19: NIWA Issues Fresh Guidelines

National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Lagos Area Office has issued fresh guidelines for a better-controlled inland waterways transportation and jetty operations regime.

The Area Manager, Mrs Sarat Braimah highlighted this on Sunday in a statement, in Lagos, adding that the new guidelines were in tandem with the directive of the Presidential Task force on COVID-19, to allow a gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown as announced by the President on March 27.

The following guidelines, according to NIWA, would take effect from May 4:

“Movement of Boats/Ferries will be between the hours of 6:30 am and 5:30 pm. No passenger boat is expected on the waterways after 5:30 pm in the evening.

“The loading capacity of all Boats and Ferries shall be at 60 per cent capacity until further notice, that is, a 20 passenger boat will be reduced to 12 passengers only.

“All passengers shall put on a face-mask before embarkment and throughout the duration of travel.

“Boat operators shall make alcohol-based sanitizers available at the entrance of their boat. The use of sanitizers is mandatory before the embarkment and disembarkment of passengers.

“Operators are to make available decent lifejackets as we move towards actualizing optimal hygiene and passengers are urged if necessary to provide and use their personal Life Jackets”.

She said that commercial boat operations shall remain suspended during weekends till further notice, while there would be temperature checks at various jetties and terminals.

“Jetties/Terminals are not allowed to accommodate and congregate more than 20 passengers at a time, this is in line with the enforcement of social distancing.

“Passengers are expected to board immediately on arrival at the jetties.

“In the event of any suspected case of COVID-19 please call the Authority or 08000CORONA,” she added.

Braimah said that in order to ameliorate the cost of operations for commercial boat operators, the authority had directed all jetty operators to charge fifty percent of applicable jetty fees.

She said that government jetties remain free of charge till further notice.

NIWA releases patrol boats, other water crafts to help in fight against COVID-19

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has pledged its water buses, patrol boats and other watercraft for use by relevant agencies in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Spokesman of NIWA, Mr Jibril Dard’au in a statement said this gesture is in furtherance to the donation of N10m by the agency towards the fight against the Corona virus pandemic.

According to the statement, “Further to our earlier financial contributions, the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Chief Dr George Moghalu, has authorised the release of the Authority’s water-buses, security patrol boats and other craft for use by relevant states and Federal agencies in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These crafts are useful for moving personnel and materials to and from the riverine communities, as well as maintaining security on our inland waterways.

“Dr Moghalu further urges all waterways users to observe safety precautions, social distancing and other guidelines as given by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, in order to stay safe in these trying times.”

“Waterways can reduce burden on Nigerian Roads” – NIWA MD

When fully developed, Nigeria’s waterways have the capacity to reduce the burden on the nation’s roads, the New MD George Moghalu, has said.

Moghalu, who was recently appointed as the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), said the waterways also have the capacity to generate millions of jobs and open up communities across the country.

The MD expressed concern that majority of Nigerians were unaware of the capacity of the agency, which he attributed it to lack of publicity for its activities.

Read more @ The Nation

NIWA demolishes shanties & illegal structures around Iddo waterfront in Lagos

The Lagos Area Office of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has pulled down shanties and illegal structures along the Lagos waterways channel in Iddo waterfront to secure the area for navigation.According to NIWA Area Manager for Lagos, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah, while speaking during the demolishing exercise at the weekend, “The development is sequel to petitions and reports of unwholesome activities and presence of suspected pirates who  hide in the shanties where they plan and launch attacks against legal occupants of waterfront facilities, not excluding leaving behind fishing nets on the waterways to takedown boats and vessels transporting goods across the channel.”

Read more – Nigerian Tribune