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.