NIMASA Seeks Collaboration as S’Court Grants FG Inland Waterways Rights

January 10, 2024
Inland Waterways Rights Supreme Court

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has described the Supreme Court Judgement reaffirming the authority of the federal government through the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and NIMASA to control activities in Nigerian inland waterways as a win-win judgement and called on state governments for collaboration.

The apex court had ruled earlier this week that the federal government has exclusive control over activities on the nation’s inland waterways, including levying and licensing operators in the sector.

The ruling was against an appeal brought by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), the state’s Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, the state’s Attorney-General, the Incorporated Trustees of the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transportation of Nigeria, and the Incorporated Trustees of Dredgers Association of Nigeria.

The apex court held that it was wrong, unlawful, and illegal for states to seek to control the sector and impose levies on businesses operating in the nation’s inland waterways.

The judgment was given on the appeal marked SC/CV/17/2018, filed by the National Inland Waterways Authority, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, and the Minister of Transport.

In his response, the Director General of NIMASA, Mr Bashir Jamoh via his official X handle, noted that the ruling should bring to an end the issues of ambiguity and multiple taxation.

He said states will no longer levy investors, as that will now become a responsibility of the government at the federal level, adding that this will improve the ease of doing business in the maritime sector.

He added that it would ultimately attract more investment from both local and international investors.

He noted  that the Supreme Court ruling will go a long way in the federal government’s effort to exploit the potential of the over 10,000 kilometres of inland waters in the country,

Mr Jamoh advised all parties concerned, particularly the state governments, to embrace the judgement and collaborate with the federal agencies towards a continued growth of the Nigerian economy.

“This ruling will go a long way in the federal government’s effort to exploit the potential of the over 10,000 Kilometers of inland waters in the country.

I wish to advise all parties concerned, particularly the State governments to embrace the judgement and collaborate with NIWA and NIMASA to better harness Nigeria’s maritime potentials for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he wrote.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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