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.
NIWA management, in a statement issued to put issues of Right of Way in perspective, disclosed that the agency in a 2014 judgment 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.
The agency also warned all trespassers to be well guided and be circumspect or face the wrath of the federal government.
“We at National Inland Waterways Authority 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 where necessary, deploy the Federal might to bring the oppositions to adhere to do right things and to stop further intimidation of federal government licensed stakeholders,” the agency said.
Throwing more light on the Court of Appeal judgment, NIWA management said the judges of the Court of Appeal had stated in the judgment without any ambiguity that Lagos Lagoon and Lekki Lagoons are exclusively within the control of NIWA.
“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 and it provides that 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”, NIWA added.
The agency said the intra-coastal route runs through international and states boundaries and is therefore consistent being an item on the exclusive legislative list, adding that revenue accruable from the federal route is payable to the Federal Waterways Authority.