NIWA LASWA MoU BACKLASH: Confusion Over Modalities For The Collection Of Levies, Patrols

There are indications that modalities for the implementation of their recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by both the National Inland Waterway Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) may cause further anxieties among waterways  transporters in Lagos.   

The two agencies recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to curb multiple taxations on the waterways, but there appears to be confusion between the duo as regards the ratio for sharing proceeds from collection of the levies from operators.

The crisis over the control of waterways surrounding Lagos and revenue accruable started more than 10 years ago with both parties locking horns and leading to a protracted legal battle.

Shipping Position Daily recalls that the treaty which was signed about two weeks ago  is touted as a guarantee for a better working relationship between NIWA and LASWA.

Under the terms, the duo would enjoy jointly take  responsibility  to ensure safety, monitor regulations on the waterways as well as harmonize tariffs.

But, a source close to NIWA who does not want his names in print told our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday that the two agencies are still finding it difficult to harmonize how they will be going for inspection and operations.

“As I am talking with you now, there is confusion if they (NIWA and LASWA will be going with one boat or with two separate boats for inspection”, he said.

He however said that the failure of the President to sign the NIWA Bill is also another issue facing the agency as they feel incapacitated to work.

It will be recalled that four month ago, President Muhammadu Buhari, declined assent to the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Bill and the Nigeria Tourism Development Authority (NTDA) Bill. 

President Buhari, in a letter he sent to the National Assembly and which was read by the then Senate President Bukola Saraki, faulted the NIWA Bill, which he said contradicts the provisions of the constitution and have issues with expected duties and functions.

He also said the funding of the Authority is “grossly excessive and will negatively affect the revenues of the federal government”.