THE National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Government (LASG) have pledged to work together to ensure a peaceful resolution of the lingering face-off over who controls the waterways in Lagos State. This is even as Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode directed all Heads of agencies concerned to begin deliberations with Niwa.
Speaking on Monday when he paid a courtesy call on the Lagos State Governor, the Managing Director of NIWA, Sen. Olorunibe Mamora stated that the need to avoid multiple taxations for waterways users brought about the courtesy call.
According to the NIWA MD, “The first thing is to thank Mr Governor for receiving us and then listening to us. I always tell everyone who cares to listen that we are not here for ourselves. We are here for the people and that is the whole essence of governance.
“We want operators to ply their trade without hindrance. We want to protect the interest of the waterways users and the interest of the operators, and by so doing, we want to ensure they are not unduly subjected to multiple taxation or multiple levies. That is why there has to be this synergy, understanding and this collaboration so that in the area of possible conflicts, it will be easily managed without escalations of such conflicts.
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“We want to be sure there are safer water transportations. We want to be sure that waterways users comply with what we call waterways transportation code, whether in terms of avoiding overloading, use of lifejacket, night navigation, and avoiding over speeding. These are some of the things. We also want to smoothen the rough edges in terms of the relationship between the Lagos state and Federal Government.
“We will look at all ways that will make us achieve amicable resolutions of the disagreement between us and Lagos State.
“The issues of revenue, right of way, waterways infrastructure and issue of who controls what, these are the main issues and it does not matter that the case is already in court. The court process is part of the democratic process. It is not as if it is out of our ways. What we should just not allow or avoid are escalations. There will always be conflicts. The conflicts will always be there. Even at home, we have conflicts. it is just as a result of misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the laws.”
In his welcome address, the Executive Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode lauded the gesture of the NIWA MD and directed all heads of concerned State agencies to begin deliberations with the NIWA.
“When the Federal Government appointed Sen. Mamora as NIWA MD, we knew the brotherhood between us will lead to peaceful resolution of the lingering dispute.
“I have directed all heads of concerned agencies in Tue State to begin deliberations with the NIWA management.
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