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Amaechi reopens old feud between NIWA, LASWA over control of waterways


By Dapo Olawuni    |       

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,may have reopened an old feud between the Federal government and Lagos State over the control of waterways in Lagos.

The Immediate past Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA), Senator Adeleke Mamora, has initiated a peace move between NIWA and the Lagos State government  which culminated into signing an agreement of cooperation with Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in July 2019.
However,  this peace move may have been punctured by his combative posture over the control of inland waterways in Lagos state.
Amaechi, on a live television, said the Federal Government would claim what rightfully belonged to it.
Recall that Mamora had led a NIWA delegation to office of the Lagos state governor for the ratification of a treaty to quash the 10-year old disagreement.

Speaking, Amaechi said that Lagos state government did not have any right on the Inland waterways.

He said, “Lagos State government does not have any right on the Nigerian Inland Waterways, the constitution and the law are clear on ownership structure, but when there was a vacuum, it has to be filled so Lagos State decided to do that.

“The court has ruled that the Federal Government must go back to claim the responsibility since it owns the waterways.

Disclosing plans to commence transportation service on the Lagos waterways to reduce traffic gridlock on the Apapa axis, he said Federal Government would appropriate funds to purchase vessels for the purpose.

He also stressed the need for capital and maintenance dredging of the waterways, saying it would encourage people to move their goods by water, as this would create more employment.

Continuing, he said ” For me, I don’t think that port construction at the inland waterways is the solution for now, we have done quite a lot, Onitsha, Baru, Lokoja River port are ready and still underutilized.

“What we should focus on is production, what we are doing at ministry of transport is to provide the logistics to move and transport your goods, so there is need to harp more on production, because as you produce your goods you create wealth. That is what China has been doing to move forward.”

© 2019, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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