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Rivers: NIWA Warns Against Illegal Activities On Waterways

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Port Harcourt Area Office has called on all stake-holders including individuals, organizations and the state to stop forthwith from carrying out any activity within the navigational inland waterways system of Nigeria without the approval of the Authority.

The Manager of the Area Office, Abdullahi Dabal made the call in a statement in Port Harcourt last Friday.

Dabai said the Authority, which is an arm of the Federal Government was established by an Act of the National Assembly, with an exclusive power to manage, direct and control all activities within the federal declared inland waterways, and to ensure that before any activity is carried out, an appropriate applications are made and approval granted accordingly.

He said the declared inland waterways include rivers, lakes, creeks, Lagoons, intra-coastal waterways, tributaries and distributaries, pointing out that any stakeholder who willfully or negligently carryout any activity without prior consent, approval and permission from the Authority is guilty of an offence under the Act of the National Inland Waterways Authority.

According to the statement, such activities include the use of the area of land along the waterfront measured 100 metres perpendicular from the edge of both banks, obstruction of the waterways with rafts, nets, logs, cast of oil, dredgers, barges, pipelines, pylons and bridges.

It’s noted that digging of sands, gravel or stone from the waterways either in manual, hydraulic or mechanical means, as well as erection or operation of permanent structures of any kind such as gauges, jetties, piers, wharves, slipways, floating or mobile docks within the waterways without permission is also an offence.

Dabai added that permission should be granted by NIWA for divertion of water from the waterways either through suction or canalization methods, performance of hydrographic surveys, seismic surveys, drilling, blasting, underwater engineering works within the waterways or erection of pylon, electricity, telephone or telegraphic cables within or across the right-of-way of the waterways.

The statement also added that operation of river crafts within the inland waterways and damages or tamper with the structures of the Authority including gauges, buoys, kilometer boards, navigation aids, horizontal and vertical control marks are also part of the activities, and further called on the stakeholders to ensure they began the process of regularizing their activities within the Inland Waterways by obtaining the necessary permit within21 days.

“The Authority will not hesitate to take its full right under law against anybody for contravention of the federal government law establishing the National Inland Waterways Authority” the statement reiterated. ###


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