Lagos Assembly Demands Amendment of NIWA Act
A call has been made to the National Assembly to amend a section of the National Waterways Inland Authority (NIWA) Act of 2004, which gives it absolute control of waterways and all the activities around 100 metres area of waterfronts across the states of the federation.
Moving a motion on the matter during plenary on Tuesday 25 April, the Chairman of the House Committee on Waterfronts Infrastructure, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu observed that the section of the act has considerably reduced the powers of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASTWA).
He added that the act is hindering development in the state, and that the state government should appeal all the court judgments won by NIWA on the matter, while the Motion was subsequently seconded by Hon. Rasheed Makinde.
“The constitution makes the Land Use Act superior to NIWA Act. So it has elevated the Land Use Act, which gives the State Governors powers over all lands in the state,” he said.
In his contribution, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade advised that the Attorney General of the state, Mr. Kazeem Adeniji should be directed by the Governor to relate with the National Assembly on NIWA Act and Land Use Act.
Agunbiade stated that the Land Use Act supersedes the NIWA Act since the former has a constitutional backing.
He added that as the chairman of the Committee set-up by the House some time ago on incessant boat mishaps in the state, it was discovered that the last boat mishap in the state was caused by negligence on the part of NIWA.
Also commenting on the Motion, Hon. Abiodun Tobun said that it was wrong for the government to have left out the state on the control of waterways when the NIWA Act was being drafted, while also supporting its amendment.
This was also supported by Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh and Hon. Richard Kasunmu.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa however, observed that the issue was long overdue and described it as a welcome development.