• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Supreme Court upholds NIWA as authentic inland waters’ regulator

Supreme Court upholds NIWA as authentic inland waters’ regulator

The Supreme Court in Abuja has ruled in favour of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) as the authentic agency in charge of regulatory oversight of the nation’s inland waters.

The development has put to rest the battle between the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government on who regulates all activities on the nation’s inland waters.

Read also: NIWA suspends boat operations to Ikorodu terminal

In a landmark judgment delivered on Friday, January 5th, 2024, Honourable Justice Okoro validated an earlier federal High Court ruling, FHC/CS/ 543/ 2012, which pronounced NIWA as the authentic authority over Nigerian inland waterways and advised Lagos State Government and its agencies including other states in the country to stay away from regulatory activities on Nigerian inland waterways.

Justice Okoro held that any attempt to compete over regulatory and commercial functions with NIWA on Nigerian inland waterways will amount to pursuing resource control, which constitutionally rests with the federal government of Nigeria.

…Jamoh hails Supreme Court judgement

Bashir Jamoh, director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has described the Supreme Court Judgement as a win-win judgement.

Reacting via his official X handle, @JamohBashir, he said the judgement should bring to an end the issue of ambiguity and multiple taxation; as states will no longer levy investors, being a responsibility of the government at the federal level; thus, improving the ease of doing business in the maritime sector.

He said that it would ultimately attract more investment from both local and international investors.

While pointing out that the Supreme Court ruling will go a long way in the Federal Government’s effort to exploit the potential of the over 10,000 Kilometers of inland waters in the country, Jamoh advised all parties concerned particularly the State Governments; to embrace the judgement and collaborate with NIWA and NIMASA.

This, he said, will help to better harness Nigeria’s maritime potential for the benefit of all Nigerians.