Supreme Court end States Struggles to Control Inland Waterways

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By Innocent Orok

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has warned states to stay off the waterways, upholding National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) as the authentic regulatory authority in Nigerian Waterways.

The battle of who regulates all activities on Nigerian Inland Waterways between Lagos State government and the Federal government came to an end on Friday in Abuja as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Federal government and its Inland Waterways regulatory agency, National Inland Waterways Authority( NIWA).

Honourable Justice Okoro, in a landmark judgment delivered on Friday, January 5th, 2024, validated an earlier Federal High Court ruling, FHC/CS/ 543/ 2012, which pronounced NIWA as the authentic authority over Nigerian inland waterways and advised Lagos State government and its agencies and any other States in the country to stay away from regulatory activities on Nigerian inland waterways.

Justice Okoro held that any attempt to compete over regulatory and commercial functions with NIWA on Nigerian inland waterways will amount to pursuing resource control, which constitutionally rests with the Federal government of Nigeria.

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