The unending face-off between the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Government over who has the constitutional power to control the waterways in Lagos State, has assumed a new dimension.
The latest irritation is sequel to moves by Lagos State House of Assembly to challenge the regulatory powers of NIWA and at same time stop activities of dreading companies through the composition of a seven-man committee to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in Lagos State, a development NIWA consider as delibrate and subtle attempt to muzzle its mandate and expose it to national ridicule.
In a letter to the state government, the federal government waterways regulatory agency had expressed displeasure over attempt by Lagos State House of Assembly to overreach itself on the extant mining laws of the federal Republic of Nigeria, which mandates NIWA to oversight access through the waterways.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, in the letter which was copied to the Secretary to the Federal Government and the Minister of Transportation, Boss Mustapha and Rotimi Ameachi respectively, called on the Lagos State Government to caution the leadership of State House of Assembly to stop forth with the current posturing which it said is a clear breach of peaceful resolution between NIWA and Lagos State government over clash of interest on dredging and sundry waterway matters.
Detailing the background to the current impasse, 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 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.”