Right of Way :
NIWA allays fear on stakeholders’ investment
* Says its regulatory function empowers by law
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has reassured law abiding 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 not known to law.
The management of NIWA made this known in a statement released to put issues on Right of Way in Perspective.
The statement disclosed that NIWA in 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, vested the right of all waterways in Nigeria and shorelines to NIWA; and therefore warned all trespassers to be well guided and circumspect or face the wrath of the law.
The statement reads :
” We at NIWA hereby reassure our clients and stakeholders of the protection of their investment and workforce. We shall within the constitutional provisions ensure that we keep trespassers out of our Right of Way.
Where necessary, we may deploy the Federal might to bring oppositions to adhere, to do right things and to stop further intimidation of government licensed stakeholders.'”
Giving more details on the Court of Appeal judgement, the management of NIWA quoted the Judges of the Court of Appeal, who stated in the iconic judgement without any ambiguity that Lagos Lagoon and lekki lagoons are exclusively within the control of NIWA, assuring that any activities within Inland Waterways, disturbed by any state agencies and illegal bodies within NIWA Right Way, will enjoy NIWA’s protection.
NIWA’s management further explained that; “it is intrusive we bear in mind that the law as it stands today and encapsulated in the Court of Appeal judgement states clearly the areas of competence of both Federal and State governments in the following words-
” Item 5 in the second schedule to the National Inland Waterways Act is the relevant provision for navigable route that falls under the exclusive legislative list and it provides thus:
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 it’s therefore consistent being an item on the exclusive legislative list.
*Revenue accruable from this Federal Route is payable to the Federal Waterways Authority.*
The Court emphasised 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.*
“Let it be known that NIWA’s Lagos office, has maintained 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.”