NIWA dismisses Lagos government’s ultimatum to sand dredgers, others over waterway rights


• Takes matter to Supreme Court
• State promises 24-hour service delivery through technology

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has dismissed the Lagos State government’s ownership claim of the waterways and seven-day ultimatum issued to sand dredgers and boat operators to regularise their permits.

NIWA, at a meeting with concerned stakeholders in Lagos yesterday, alleged that Lagos State government misinterpreted an Appeal Court judgment over right of the waterways. It says it has already taken the matter to the Supreme Court for stay of execution.

The Area Manager of NIWA, Muazu Sambo, said that it remains for Lagos State government to define its intra-state water routes in the state “if there is any.”

Sambo, while addressing apparently worried boat operators and sand dredgers over threats by the state government, said NIWA would not sit back and allow illegalities and harassment of its licenced operators.

In his words: “There are plans to protect our operators. There is no way we will allow 2008 impunity to repeat itself. You know that for Lagos to carry out its ultimatum, they need the police that are controlled and answerable to the President. And the Federal Government will not allow that (harassment) to happen over solid minerals that it has exclusive rights.”

In another development, Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment to a 24-hour service delivery in a secure environment where all firms operate safely and provide employments for the overall development of the state’s economy.

The state Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Odubiyi, stated this at the inauguration of the new board of directors for the state chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) in Victoria Island.

Odubiyi, who admitted that the association had significantly helped individuals and enterprises to optimally deploy technology in its 50 years of existence, noted that the state had over the years invested in information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance efficiency.

He stressed the need to further improve service delivery, governance and security by enhancing existing infrastructure and ensuring a co-ordinated implementation of new initiatives for productivity.

The commissioner noted that the move was to ensure that government delivers services in the most efficient way by deploying ICT to enhance quality, performance and inclusiveness of the citizenry.

He emphasised that the two most important economic drivers were the ease of communication between citizens and that of their mobility.

The state ISACA president, Adeola Willoughby, reminded the audience that the independent, non-profit and global organiastion engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems to engender cybersecurity, governance good and innovation in Nigeria.

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