From John Silas, Lagos
The Federal Government in conjunction with Lagos State Government has ordered the stoppage of all barge operations along the Marina coastline.
They also ordered the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to revoke barge approvals granted some companies operating in Lagos.
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi in company of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who defied the early morning downpour to inspect the activities around the Marina coastline, made the stop-work order on Tuesday during an unscheduled visit to Marina.
Speaking during the unscheduled inspection to unravel some of the activities around the Marina coastline, Amaechi and Sanwo-Olu described barge operations along the coastline as unwholesome and disorganised.
Amaechi said there is an urgent need to sanitise the entire Marina coastline and restore the peace and tranquility of the place.
He therefore ordered that all trucks should desist from coming to Marina to load with immediate effect.
Amaechi also disclosed that the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has not granted anyone the permission to carry out barging operations, insisting that all 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.
Also speaking, Governor Sanwo-Olu on his part instructed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecutes anyone that flouts the stoppage order.
He said Lagos State Government will do the needful to bring sanity to the area.
“We are also talking to 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 disclosed.
Other stakeholders at the inspection tour include the Managing Director of NPA Hadiza Bala Usman, representatives of NIWA, Ministries of Works and Waterfront as well as the Nigeria Police.