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NIWA cautions LASWA against regulatory encroachment

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NIWA says industry stakeholders will suffer for the consequences over the duplication of functions by LASWA if it persists as it will not augur well for investors

By Uzor Odigbo

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The Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetty has cautioned the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to stop the encroachment of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority on their mandates on enforcement, regulations and implementation.

The standing committee also expressed worries over duplication of functions by LASWA on the federal agencies responsibilities, lamenting that other states where inland waterways operations exist have smooth working collaboration with the national authority.

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Speaking at the maiden edition of Maritime Mode Workshop (MMW) put together by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)Nigeria, Chairman, Technical Sub Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetty , Engr. Joseph Ororo decried the duplication of functions by the state authority, reaffirming that such actions by LASWA could have negative impact on investors and stakeholders.

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Ororo,who is also the General Manager, Marine Operations, NIWA, said industry stakeholders will suffer for the consequences over the duplication of functions by LASWA if it persists, pointing out that the regulations will not augur well for investors.

He stated: “I want to address my colleague here, who is the General Manager LASWA. There is a lot of functions that are been replicated by the Lagos State Waterways Authority . And that will cause a lot of problems. For instance, NIWA is training and licensing boat drivers and we are told that they are also doing that. So which license takes precedence. When we go to the waters for monitoring and compliance, which one are we going to respect? Certainly, the laws is on the side of NIWA. Because in the constitution in item 36 which is in the exclusive legislative list, Maritime shipping is under the exclusive legislative list and that is where it is mentioned that state internal waters and interstates internal waters and international waters is under the purview of the federal government.”

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He said private and public jetties, ferry terminal and other roles assigned for NIWA has set guidelines noting that NIWA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are the only regulatory agencies that are to control and monitor, issuance of permits for jetty operations.

The Chairman, Technical Sub Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetty, maintained that the functions carried out by NIWA is derived from the laws establishing it stressing that state government attempt to perform the same role would lead to misunderstanding that can easily affect stakeholders investment.

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The General Manager NIWA also called on jetty operators to obtain their licenses from NPA or NIWA adding that the federal agencies are responsible for the issuance of permits and licensing of private jetty ownership.

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He, however, called on LASWA to collaborate with the federal agencies on the best ways of preventing boat mishaps and other area of safety and security.

On his part General Manager LASWA, Mr. Emmanuel Oluwadamilola maintained that the synergy that exists between the two agencies of governments cannot be overemphasized.

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Oluwadamilola reiterated LASWA’ s commitment to synergize with NIWA adding that there is always a way to resolve the issues of waterways operations.

He noted: “We have been finding ways to work together and we will continue to work together for positive impacts. There is no complications on the matter of the two agencies.”

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