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Dredging can be done to recover materials of commercial value; these may be high value minerals or sediments that are used by the construction industry.

But before we dig deep into the definition of dredging let’s go back a bit into the history of how dredging started.

History of Dredging

The seven arms of the Nile were channelled and wharfs built at the time of the pyramids (4000 BC), there was extensive harbour building in the eastern Mediterranean from 1000 BC and the disturbed sediment layers gives evidence of bring up stuffs.

At Marseille, dredging phases were recorded from the third century BC onwards, the most extensive during the first century AD. The remains of three dredging boats have been unearthed; they were abandoned at the bottom of the harbour during the first and second centuries AD.

The Banu Musa Brothers during the Muslim Golden Age in while working at the Bayt-Al-Hikmah (house of wisdom) in Baghdad, designed an original invention in their book named ‘book of ingenious devices’. A grab machine which does not appear in any earlier Greek works. The grab they described was used to extract objects from underwater, and recover objects from the beds of streams.

As you can see that dredging isn’t a new system that construction workers use, for it has been in usage as far back as 1000 BC. Dredging so far as been developed or should I say modernized.

Dredging is also the digging of dirt, sand, pebbles, rocks, and other organic deposits from the bottom of the creek, waterways, and coastal areas.

Why is Dredging Useful?

There are few advantages as to why dredging is useful

  1. Expansion of the waterways
  2. Flood control
  3. Creation of more navigation channels
  4. Job and investment opportunities e.t.c

Now that you understand how dredging works, you would probably want to know how to start it as a business. I have taken time to do the proper diligence on how to start a dredging business.

Steps on How to Start a Dredging Business

Step 1– Choose a business name and incorporate it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

But there are procedures on how to register a dredging business. They are as follows:

  1. Send an application to the Ministry of Waterways and Infrastructural Development.
  2. Provision of details of the description of the dredging location and payment of the use fee.
  3. Provide the report showing the Environmental/Ecological Impact Analysis and the provision of the review on hydro graphics.
  4. Review of the proposed zone and the duplication of the current duty freedom document.

Step 2– Get an operating license from relevant Government bodies (to legalize your operation).

There are some licenses and permits required to operate this kind of business and the bodies responsible for issuing these licenses.

A checklist of some licenses and permits required for dredging are listed hereunder:

  1. Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)
  2. Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (FMMSD)
  3. National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)
  4. Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development (MSMSD)
  5. Lagos Waterways Authority (LASWA)   

Please Note that failure to obtain these licenses or permits before operating attracts some punishment. For example

Section 20(1) of the Lagos waterways Authority Act provides
          “any person who carries on the business of sand
           dealing or sand dredging along the waterfront

           without obtaining the necessary operations permits
           shall be liable on conviction to a fine, not more than
           one million naira or imprisonment for a term of
           two (2) years or both imprisonment and fine”.

Permits are categorized into 4 sections, they are as follows:

  1. Planning permits
  2. Environmental Impact Assessment
  3. Placement permits
  4. Materials mining permits

Step 3– Join the Dredgers Association of Nigeria.

Just as we have Dredging which seems useful we also have reclamation.

Reclamation on the other hand is the sand filing of wasteland or land formerly underwater. It is the restoration of land to its original condition 

The Dredging and Reclamation business is a very lucrative one in view of the fact of the high demand for building materials to cater to the rising demand for shelter.

Investors are therefore advised to venture into the same but should ensure to obtain the necessary requisite permits and licenses to avoid prosecution or disruption of their business operation.

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