NIWA Releases 18–Point Guidelines To Regulate Dredging Activities


…Warns Dredgers Against Flouting Rules, Regulations
As part of efforts to put an end to indiscriminate dredging activities in Lagos State, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has released 18- point guidelines for dredging operations in the state
The agency stated that the guidelines, which take effect from today April 14, 2015, became necessary to protect the environment following the activities of dredgers at the Ajah –Badore axis
The Area Manager, NIWA, Lagos, Muazu Sambo disclosed this while speaking at a stakeholders meeting held at Protea Hotel, Awolowo Road Ikoyi.
Some of the highlights of the guidelines are that: dredging machines must be spaced at a minimum distance of 500m away from each other, permissible distance of dredge machine from the shoreline must be not be less than 500m, only a single dredge machine will only be allowed per stockpiling site and that the Chinese dredge system shall comprise of one master dredge machine, three transporters and one booster pump device.
Others are that : no reclamation project should commence until all documentations are observed and approval granted, penalty shall be imposed on a dredging company that sells wet dredged sand to trucks, dredging operations must not obstruct navigational activities along the waterways and the dredging pipes should be properly marked out and sunk in water for the safety of other users of waterways and that no dredging site shall commence sales of dredged sand before 6.00am and must close by sunset.
He added that there are 24 dredging sites beginning from Tunde Afolabi Street to Badore.
He stated that in September 2015,the agency wrote to operators in the area informing them that by December 2015,they must meet the technical regulations before they would be allowed to do dredging business, but that by March 31,2016 only six companied have complied.
The agency, he added has agreed that these are the only companies that would do dredging business there.
According to him, by March 31, 2016 only six companies complied with the directive and we have agreed that only these companies will operate there.
Sambo warned that any company that flouts the guidelines as it concerns dredging in Lagos would be arrested and his equipment seized.
He also disclosed that areas such as Sangotedo Awoyaya,Bodije and Badagary have been highly congested by dredging operators ,adding that NIWA would be visiting these areas very soon to enforce dredging rules and regulations in line with NIWA Act.
Sambo stated that all the operators would pay for the first three months, calling on the operators to assist him while he is still in Lagos.
NIWA, he said has been taken for granted for too long, warning that the rules and regulations guiding dredging would be strictly enforced ,as according to him, there is a ‘new Sheriff in town’.
On the case between NIWA and Lagos State, the Area Manager stated that the case was now at Appeal Court, adding that Lagos state has been warned by the court to stop any form of revenue collection from the operators until the determination of the case.
He however pointed out that the order by the Appeal Court to Lagos State does not stop it from showing concern about the activities of the dredgers as it affects the environment.
According to him, “NIWA is joining hands with Lagos State to protect the environment because if there is no environment, there will not be dredging. We should not do dredging business as if we are selling pepper or tomatoes”.