The Lagos State Government has said that the current face-off it is having with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is not in the best interest of its citizens, hence it is ready to put an end to the dispute and forge a cordial working relationship with organisation.
The state Commissioner for Transportation, Com. Kayode Opeifa, stated this yesterday at a one-day national discourse on attaining 48-hour clearance of cargo at Nigerian seaports.
Opeifa, who was represented at the event by the Director, Transport Policy and Coordination of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salaam, said cooperation between the state and NIWA, which is an agency of the Federal Government, will open up the waterways for viable commercial activities and also ensure safety of lives and property.
The rift between both bodies has lingered for over two years over the creation of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to regulate water transportation is Lagos State.
NIWA however dragged the state to court claiming usurpation of its constitutional responsibility by LASWA. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, however, declared LASWA an illegal entity affirming the exclusive powers of NIWA to regulate inland waterways in all parts of the country.
“We have 59 jetties while NIWA has just two, so you can see reason why we should not be at loggerheads with each other,” Salaam stated.
He said that if the water transportation and railway systems work efficiently, the clearance of goods at the ports would be done faster.
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