Court bars states from control of inland waterways


Federal High Court in Abuja


A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has reportedly ruled that management and control of Inland waterways in Nigeria remains exclusively within the control of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

NIWA spokesman, Jubril Darda’u, disclosed this in a press statement.

“The Federal High Court of Nigeria in the Port Harcourt Judicial Division holding at Port Harcourt before his Lordship Hon. Justice I.S Mark in his judgment recently orders that a state government has no authority/power to legislate on (and enforce compliance of its legislation that affect) the use, management and control of Inland waterways in Nigeria as it is exclusively within the control of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) by virtue of the constitution and the Act establishing NIWA by the National Assembly.

“The judge gave the order in the Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/142/2022 between Bright Waters Energy Limited (plaintiff) and the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, River State, the Hon. Commissioner of Environment, Rivers State and Petroleum Financial Corporate (PFC) as (defendants),” the statement read.

There has been a running battle for control of the waterways between some states and the Federal Government. A case between the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government on the control of waterways in the state is awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Court.

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