The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has expressed willingness to reach amicable settlement with Lagos State Government on disputes over control of the inland waterways in the State.
NIWA’s Acting Managing Director Barr. Danladi Ibrahim disclosed this yesterday when he met with journalists at the agency’s Lagos Area Office.
Ibrahim, who was NIWA’s Company Secretary/Legal Adviser prior to his appointment as the Acting Managing Director in June, said the agency was disposed to settling its dispute with Lagos and other coastal states.
He said, “It was not only Lagos State Government but also with other riverine State Governments such as Bayelsa, Rivers and the rest.
“This conflict has actually affected development of the inland waterways so what we intend to do this time around that we have a change of government is to collaborate with theses states and any moment from now we will visit all the State Governments that we have issues with.
“I don’t see any reason why States and the Federal Government cannot collaborate to develop the economy and with collaboration, I believe this issue will be resolve and inland waterways will be better for it.
“Instead of legal tussle, conflict and so on, we will collaborate,” he said.
Ibrahim also disclosed that the agency would start strict enforcement of regulations on the inland waterway as soon as the Federal Government gazettes the inland waterways codes.
“As I speak to you, we have transportation codes like we have on the road which is to regulate traffic on the waterways. These codes carry penalty and offences.
“All these years, there is no code to regulate inland waterways traffic but as soon as the code is gazetted, all the issue of overloading and over speeding will be regulated and we will ensure that this code is strictly enforced,” he added.
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