The unending face-off between the National Inland Waterways Authority and Lagos State Government over dredging activities has taken a new dimension after the agency kicked against attempts by the Lagos State
House of Assembly to stop it from regulating the sector in the state, especially on waterways.
The Lagos State House of Assembly had, in a bid to challenge the regulatory powers of NIWA, constituted a seven-man committee to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in the state, a development NIWA considers a breach of its mandate as spelt out by the law.
In a letter to the state government that was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George
Moghalu, called on the Lagos lawmakers to stop interfering in its regulation of dredging activities in the state.
Moghalu drew the attention of the Lagos State Government to the extant laws on Minerals and Mining Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which clearly states that where issues are 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.
He further informed the 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, further recognises waterway use permit exclusively within the ambit of NIWA.
He said, “May I, in simple words, emphasise 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.”