The Federal Government and Lagos State have signed an agreement of cooperation to end the decade-long row over the control of waterways surrounding the state.
According to a statement by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary of Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile, the agreement which concerns both the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), will guarantee a better working relationship between both government agencies.
After signing of the treaty, Managing Director of NIWA, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the agreement was signed in good faith and in the best interest of the people, noting that the previous administration in the State prepared the groundwork for collaboration between NIWA and LASWA.
“We don’t need the court to intervene in ensuring safety on waterways and protecting the rights of our people and avoiding multiple-taxation, which discourages investors; these are the areas we are partnering on. This agreement shows that we care for our people, particularly the users of the waterways.
“This agreement means a better life for our people. What we have signed today will promote a better working relationship and collaboration for the good of our people. Our desire is to see the possibility of settling out of court because this disagreement has been on for over 10 years. The most important thing is that, once we have this understanding, we won’t have issues. Investors, too, would be free to come in, since they know there is no friction and restrictions again.”
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu received the officials from NIWA, described the treaty as “right choice” to end the long-drawn-out rift.
“I congratulate these two agencies of government that have found it right to collaborate. This is one of the signs of progress we have made to promote ease of doing business and as regulators; we must always find a way to close our differences in order to convince investors and private sector.
We have said we have plans to introduce a comprehensive intermodal transportation system, which will cover rail, roads and waterways. A critical component of this objective is what this agreement just enabled for us. It means we are prepared for investors and partners who have shown interest in the partnership on waterway transportation to move our people from one part of the state to another.”