The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), last Tuesday, said property owners along the shorelines and other parts of Lagos State should not pay dues and levies to the Lagos State Government.
NIWA’s directive came on the heels of a statement credited to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye, that NIWA had no constitutional authority or statutory power to assess properties in Lagos for payment of any tax, levy, fee or tariff.
Mr. Muhammed Sambo, the NIWA Lagos Area Manager, in a report, said property owners along the shorelines in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and other parts of the state should disregard the statement of the commissioner on payment of dues and levies on the shorelines.
He said: “All property owners served demand notice by NIWA are advised to ignore the statement of the Attorney-General of Lagos State on payment of dues and levies because the payments are unlawful and unconstitutional.”
Sambo said that the property owners should continue to comply with the directives of NIWA as they had been doing, noting that the Land Use Act of the country was subservient to the NIWA Act.
“Section 13 makes the Land Use Act subservient to the NIWA Act. There are certain provisions in the NIWA Act that give the authority the power to collect levies and charges from property owners whose properties border the waterways. Also, we all know that the NIWA Act has been validly enacted by the National Assembly.”
The official said the state has appealed on the issue, advising it should wait for the outcome of the appeal before contemplating other actions.
But the state government said it has carefully reviewed the applicable legislation setting up NIWA, noting: “It is our considered view that its functions do not extend to the assessment, regulation or taxation of properties that are not obstructing any declared waterways.”
Source – DailyTrust