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NIWA issues ‘best practice’ guidelines for dredging operations in Lagos State



*To punish non-compliant operators

The National Inland Waterways
Authority(NIWA) on Thursday said it would punish dredging operators who fail to
comply with the best practice guidelines it issued, arising from a stakeholders
meeting in Lagos. 

The Lagos Area Manager, NIWA, Mr Muazu
Sambo said that while the agency recognises its statutory responsibility as
regulators of the dredging activities, it would ensure adequate enforcement to
achieve compliance.

Sambo warned dredging operators along the
Ajah-Badore stretch, who had yet complied with the regulations to do so, or
face sanction, having been warned over six months ago.

He said operators within Sango-Tedo and
other communities along the same axis should also brace up for NIWA compliance
monitoring, as the agency would ensure adherence to guidelines for operations. 
The Lagos Area Manager clarified that all
operators should deal with NIWA as pronounced at the Federal High Court, while
stating that the matter was taken to the appeal court about two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the guidelines for dredging
operations signed by the Lagos Area Manager include;

 That
dredge machines must be spaced at a minimum distance of 500m away from each
other.

The permissible distance of dredge,
machines from the shoreline must not be less than 500m.

A single dredge machine will only be
allowed per stockpiling site.
The Chinese dredge system shall comprise
of one master dredge machine, three transporters and one booster pump device.

Penalties shall be imposed on dredging
companies for non-compliance with dredging regulations.

Permit granted to a company in a specified
location, is non-transferable to another location or to any other individual.
Also, the approved site must not exceed the delineated area prescribed by the
perimeter survey submitted.

Penalty shall be imposed on dredging
companies for non-compliance with Health, Safety and Environment standards.

Penalty shall be imposed on a dredging
company that does not maintain the access road to its stockpiling site.

Penalty shall be imposed on a dredging
company for non-installation of water/sedimentation box at an appropriate
position for control of turbidity during dredging operation.

Penalty shall be imposed on a company for
improper channeling of waste water drainage back into the water-body.

No reclamation project should commence
until all requisite documentations are observed and approval granted.

Penalty shall be imposed on a dredging
company that sells wet dredged sand to trucks.

Dredging companies should make it
mandatory to adequately cover sand before transported out of the site.

Environmental Impact Assessment and
Bathymetric/Sand search reports are vital pre-requisites for dredging permits.

Dredging companies 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 the
waterways.

No dredging site shall commence sales of
dredged sand before 6:a.m and must close by sunset.

Dredging and all floating equipment must
have valid Annual survey and Operational permits from NIWA.

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