ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
A Law to regularise the Legal Position of existing Piers and to Control the Erection of new Piers.
(24th February, 1917)
No person shall erect or re-erect, alter or extend any pier except under a licence issued under this Law and any person contravening the provisions of this section shall be liable to a fine of one hundred naira.
The Commissioner may, by notice in writing, require the owner of a pier existing at the commencement of this Law to remove the same within such time as may be specified in the notice, if the owner shall not within the time and in the manner prescribed by the next succeeding section either produce an authority from the Government for the erection and continuance of the pier contained in a lease or other formal instrument or apply for a licence to authorise the continuance of the pier.
The owner of every pier existing at the commencement of this Law shall, within three months of the commencement of the Law—
(a) if he holds any authority from the Government for the erection and continuance of the pier contained in a lease or other formal instrument, produce such lease or other formal instrument or a certified copy thereof;
(b) if he does not hold any such lease or other formal instrument, apply to the Governor for a licence for the continuance of the pier and furnish the Commissioner with a statement, in writing, setting forth the following particulars—
(i) the name and address of the owner;
(ii) a description of the pier;
(iii) the situation of the pier;
(iv) the purposes for which the pier is used;
(v) whether the pier is used solely for the purpose of the owner;
(vi) if persons other than the owner are permitted to use the pier, whether any charge is made by the owner for such use, and the amount of the charge (if any);
(vii) the date when the pier was first erected, and, if re-erected, the date of the last re-erection;
(viii) the nature of the authority given for the erection of the pier, the date thereof and the person by whom and the person to whom such authority was given;
(ix) the grounds (if any) on which he claims a right to continue to use and maintain the pier, and whether such right is claimed in perpetuity or for a limited term.
If the owner of a pier existing at the commencement of this Law shall apply for a licence for the continuance of a pier and shall establish a legal or equitable right to the continuance of the pier he shall be entitled to receive from the Commissioner a licence which shall preserve to the owner such legal or equitable right with regard to the use and maintenance of the pier and the re-erection and alteration and extension thereof as the owner shall have acquired before the commencement of the Law.
If the owner of a pier existing at the commencement of this Law shall apply for a licence for the continuance of the pier, but shall fail to establish a legal or equitable right to the continuance of the pier, the Commissioner may—
(a) by notice in writing require the owner to remove the pier within such time as may be specified in the notice; or
(b) grant the owner a licence to continue to use and maintain the pier for such period and on such terms and conditions as to the Commissioner may seem proper.
If any dispute shall arise between the Commissioner and an applicant for a licence for the continuance of a pier as to whether the applicant has established a right to such licence or as to the terms and conditions which should be inserted in the licence to preserve the rights acquired by the owner with regard to the pier, such dispute shall be settled by the High Court upon a summons taken out by the Attorney-General or by the applicant for the licence and in the like manner or as nearly as conveniently may be as disputes are determined by the Court under the law for the time being regulating the acquisition of land for public purposes.
The Commissioner may grant a licence for the erection of a new pier, or for the re-erection, extension or alteration of a pier upon such terms and conditions as he may think proper, or as may be prescribed.
The Commissioner may cancel any licence issued under this Law if the owner of the pier fails to comply with any of the conditions of the licence.
(1) The Commissioner may cancel a licence issued under this Law whenever he may think proper in the public interest, but in such case the owner of the pier shall be entitled to compensation unless express provision to the contrary is contained in the licence.
(2) When the amount of the compensation is not agreed the amount shall be determined by the High Court in the like manner as the amount of compensation is determined under the law for the time being regulating the acquisition of land for public purposes.
(1) Any person acting on the authority of the Commissioner may remove a pier or any portion thereof, and for such purpose may enter upon any land in any of the cases following—
(a) if the owner is required by or under this Law to remove a pier and refuses or neglects to do so within the time specified;
(b) if after the commencement of this Law the pier has been erected, re-erected, altered or extended without a licence;
(c) if the licence for the pier has been cancelled under the provisions of this Law;
(d) if the licence or other authority for the pier has expired.
(2) Except in the case where the licence for the pier has been cancelled under section 11, the costs and expenses of and in connection with such removal shall be defrayed by the owner of the pier and may be recovered from him at the suit of the Controller of Works Services in any Court of competent jurisdiction.
All customs and police officers and members of the Inland Waterways Department shall in the exercise of their duties have right of access at all times to any piers, and in case of any public emergency (certified under the hand of the Commissioner), any officer of the Government shall be entitled to take temporary possession of any pier required for the public service.
The Commissioner may make regulations for all or any of the purposes following—
(a) requiring the owners of piers to maintain the same and the approaches thereto in a proper state of repair;
(b) prescribing the fees to be paid for any licences issued under this Law;
(c) for the proper lighting of piers;
(d) prescribing the life-saving apparatus to be supplied by the owners of piers and to be kept thereon; and
(e) generally for giving effect to the provisions and purposes of this Law.
In this Law—
“Commissioner” means Commissioner for the time being in charge of the Ministry of Works;
“owner” in relation to a pier includes the occupiers;
“pier” means every pier or wharf of whatever description extending into the water of any navigable inland waterway other than the River Niger and its affluents or any inland waterway declared by Parliament to be an international waterway or an inter-State waterway and includes any pontoon moored in any such waterway and used as a pier or wharf.
This Law may be cited as the Piers Law.
List of subsidiary legislation
7 of 1917
15 of 1917
18 of 1919
20 of 1924
31 of 1926
1 of 1931
22 of 1941
(2) In the case of an application for a licence to erect a new pier the position of the proposed pier shall be shown on the Admiralty chart of the port, harbour or river. If no such chart exists the position shall be shown on any approved plan on which the depth of water at and in the vicinity of the proposed pier is indicated.
(3) If in the opinion of the Government Inspector of Shipping it would be advisable in connection with any application that a survey should be made at or in the vicinity of the site of a proposed or existing pier, the survey will be made by the Government Inspector of Shipping at the expense of the applicant, and the applicant shall on demand pay to the Government Inspector of Shipping such expense as assessed by the Government Inspector of Shipping.
(a) two lights three feet apart in a vertical line so constructed as to be visible at a distance of at least one mile, erected within six feet of the outer and seaward end of every pier the T-piece of which is less than three hundred feet in length;
(b) similar lights erected within six feet of the outer ends of every pier the T-piece of which is three hundred feet or more in length.
(2) In both cases (a) and (b) the lower of the lights shall not be less than ten or more than fifteen feet above the level of the upper surface of the pier. All the lights shall be green in colour.
(3) This regulation shall not apply to piers which do not project beyond the line of the shore.
(4) Any person who fails to comply with this regulation shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ten naira.
(2) The following parts of a pier shall, as far as is practicable having regard to the traffic proceeding along, or to any work being done on, a pier, be securely fenced or railed so that the height of fence or railing, which shall at all material times be maintained in good condition, shall be in no place less than three feet—
(a) all breaks, dangerous corners, and other dangerous parts or edges;
(b) both sides of any footways as are in general use over bridges, caissons or pier gates, and each side of the entrance at each end of any of such footways for a sufficient distance not exceeding five yards.
(3) (a) No person shall remove any such fence or railing or any part thereof except to such extent or for such period as is reasonably necessary for carrying on the work of a pier or ship or for effecting any repairs to such fence or railing.
(b) If any fence or railing is removed for any of the purposes hereinabove set out, such fence or railing shall be restored or replaced, immediately after the period during which the removal was necessary, by the employers of, or by, the persons engaged in the work or repairs that necessitated such removal.
(4) Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes this regulation shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ten naira.
Penalty: a fine of ten naira.
(a) two life-buoys with life-line attached, ready for use, and to one of these life-buoys shall be attached a Holmes light or some other self-lighting arrangement of approved type; and
(b) means, at reasonable intervals, at or near the surface of the water, for enabling a person immersed therein to support himself or escape there from. Such means shall be reasonably adequate having regard to all the circumstances.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes this regulation shall be liable to a fine of ten naira.
(2) Every licence for the erection of a temporary pier shall state the period for which it may be erected, and it shall be a condition of every such licence that the owner of the pier shall remove the same on the expiration of the licence.
For a licence for a pier with less than six feet of water off the face at low water ordinary spring tides—₦500.00.
For a licence for a pier with six feet or more but less than twelve feet of water off the face at low water ordinary spring tides—₦1000.00.
For a licence for a pier with twelve feet or more of water off the face at low water ordinary spring tides—₦2000.00.