The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Government in July, 2019, is nearing collapse following disagreement over control of strategic waterways resources within Lagos State.
According to investigations carried out by the Nigerian Tribune, lack of efficient communication between both parties to the MoU signed mid-last year is threatening the validity of the agreement reached on control of inland waterways asset in Lagos State.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune on the looming impasse, a source in NIWA, who craved anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on the matter, stated that, “Currently, there are issues over control of some strategic assets within Lagos waterways.
“The MoU might cease to exist if the Lagos State government forges ahead in its bid to take over some regulatory powers of NIWA as regards dredging and mining activities within the State’s inland waterways resources.
“That MoU was signed in 2019 when we had a “Lagos man” Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, as the Managing Director of NIWA. Then, communication between Lagos and NIWA was smooth and unhindered. There were no issues between Lagos and NIWA after that MoU was signed because the MD of NIWA and the Lagos State governor as of that time belonged to the same school of thought politically.
“Now, things have changed. We have a new MD at NIWA who does not see the agency as an extension of Lagos, and therefore, any attempt to annex or usurp the powers or responsibilities of NIWA will be resisted vehemently.”
Recall that the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu recently wrote the Lagos State government, frowning at the attempt by the Lagos State House of Assembly to overstep its mandate on the extant mining laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which mandates only NIWA to oversight access through the waterways.
The letter, which had copies mailed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, frowned at moves by the Lagos State House of Assembly to ambush the regulatory powers of NIWA and at the same time interfere in the activities of dredging companies through the composition of a seven-man committee set-up to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in Lagos State.
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