By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Sept. 15, 2020 The Federal Government, in conjunction with Lagos State Government, on Tuesday ordered the stoppage of barge operations along Marina coastline.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, and the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave the stop-work order during an unscheduled visit to inspect the activities around the Marina coastline.
With the order, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will also revoke barge approvals granted some companies operating in Lagos.
Amaechi and Sanwo-Olu went round the coastline, seeing the long row of trucks and containers that had constituted health and security hazards on the Marina.
They said that the ”unwholesome” activities on the coastline were ”shocking” and ”unacceptable”.
The Minister said that there was an urgent need to sanitise the entire Marina coastline and restore its tranquility and beauty.
He gave a directive that trucks must immediately stop coming to Marina to load.
Amaechi said that the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) did not grant anyone the permission to carry out barging operations, insisting that all such activities must stop immediately.
”The Federal Ministry of Transport has agreed with Lagos State Government to ensure that whoever is making use of Marina coastline should stop.
”We have agreed with Commissioner of Police to stop those using the roads and we have agreed with NPA to cancel all barge permits pending when each person will come back to NPA, NIWA and Lagos State Government to renew such approval,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu, on his part, directed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute anyone who flouted the order to stop the unauthorized activities on the Marina.
He said the state government would do everything to bring sanity to the coastline.
”We are also talking to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing because we understand that some of the approvals were from the Federal Ministry of Works.
”So, we are also taking up that responsibility and we would do what we need do,” the governor said.
Also at the inspection were the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, representatives of NIWA, Ministries of Works and Waterfront as well as the Police.