The Federal Government has threatened to take down buildings around waterfronts
This was revealed by Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday at an event to mark the 2021 Work Maritime Day Celebration that was themed, “Seafarers at the core of shipping future.”
The Minister affirmed that the state governments and individuals had the right to reclaim waters, sell or lease reclaimed land to anyone or groups of persons for the purpose of construction of houses.
He stated that the right fell within the purview of the federal government and not the state.
Mr Rotimi Amaechi said the government would decide when houses built on reclaimed lands would be demolished.
He said, “The constitution stipulates that state government can exercise rights over rivers that starts and ends within the state but does not have such rights if it flows beyond the boundary of the state. The moment it extends beyond a state it then means that it is only the federal government that can make laws that will operate on such waters.
“I see people reclaiming part of our waterways for the purpose of the building. Don’t complain by the time you see bulldozers coming to pull them down.”
He further revealed that in the past, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) diverged from its mandate by chasing revenue generation. “NIMASA has no business with revenue generation”, he added.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, described seafarers as true champions and underdogs of humanity.
Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, who also spoke at the event assured that there will be improvement of the welfare of Seafarers in the sub-sector.