A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered that no state government has the authority or power to legislate on the nation’s inland waterways.
The court also declared that the management and control of the inland waterways in the country is exclusively under the control of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) by the Constitution and the law establishing the NIWA by the National Assembly.
This further strengthened the position of NIWA, which has been in a legal battle over the years with the Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) , as well as other states that create their independent apparatus of waterways.
According to a statement issued in Lokoja, Kogi State, by the General Manager of General Affairs of NIWA, Mr. Jibril Darda’u, Judge IS Mark issued the order in the suit No: FHC/PH /CS/142/2022 between Bright Waters Energy Limited (Plaintiff) and River State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Environmental Commissioner, Rivers State and Petroleum Financial Corporate (PFC) as (Defendants).
The statement reads: “A State Government has no authority/power to legislate (and enforce its legislation which affects) the use, management and control of inland waterways in Nigeria , as it is exclusively under the control of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) by the constitution and the law establishing NIWA by the National Assembly.