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FG, Lagos stop barge operations along Marina coastline

Lagos Marina will soon regain its beauty and serenity, with the planned stoppage of barge operations along the coastline. The Federal Government, in conjunction with Lagos State government, yesterday ordered the stoppage of all such operations, which have desecrated the once beautiful and peaceful Marina coastline.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to revoke barge approvals granted some companies operating in Lagos. The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, and the Lagos State Gover-nor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who defied the early morning downpour to inspect the activities around the Marina coastline, made the stop-work order during an unscheduled visit to the Marina. The state Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said in a statement that the minister and the governor went around the coastline, seeing the long row of trucks and containers which had constituted health and security hazards on the Marina. The commissioner said Amaechi and Sanwo- Olu kept on shaking their heads on seeing the devastation of the coastline that used to be the pride of the state, attracting crowds of visitors. According to him, Amaechi and Sanwo- Olu found the “unwholesome” activities on the coastline “shocking” and “unacceptable”.

He said: “The minister spoke of an urgent need to sanitise the entire Marina coastline and restore its tranquillity and beauty. “He ordered that trucks must immediately stop coming to Marina to load.” According to Omosoto, Amaechi said the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) did not grant anyone permission to carry out barging operations, insisting that all such activities must stop immediately.

He added: “The Federal Ministry of Transport has agreed with the Lagos State government to ensure that whoever is making use of the Marina coastline should stop. We have agreed with the 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.”

The commissioner said Sanwo-Olu directed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Akeem Odumosu, to arrest and prosecute anyone who flouted the order to stop “unauthorised activities” on the Marina. Also at the inspection were the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, representatives of NIWA, Ministries of Works as well as Waterfront Infrastructure Development and the police.

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