Federal Maritime Agencies Committee on Activities of Barge Operators on Lagos waterways, has clamped down on illegal barge and jetty operators around the Kirikiri Light Terminal notorious as hide outs for deviant elements.
In a show of massive enforcement led by operatives and security officers from National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), the team sealed up illegal jetties, load bays and impounded tug boats without approved certifications along the very busy channel.
Also barges seen wrongly anchored and obstructing visibility on the channel were immediately compelled to move out of the right of way and to look for a better access and approved access to operate.
The action of the task force yesterday, which took most barge operators and illegal jetty operators by surprise, was sequel to the recent uproar generated by careless barge operators and unlicensed tug boat crew members, some leading to avoidable fatalities.
Chairman of the Federal Agencies Committee on the Activities of Barge Operations, Capt. Daniel Gangun, stated that the committee would not relent until there’s total compliance by barge and illegal jetty operators to extant regulations on transportation on the waterways.
On the buy in by stakeholders, Gangun disclosed that the organised private sector barge operators association were in support of the enforcement regime, adding that their petitions to sanitize barge operations informed the federal agencies intervention.
Accordingly, Gangun said that the sealed illegal jetties and tugboats without approved documentations, were manned by NIWA Police to prevent violation of the seal order.
He added that the clamped down and enforcement initiative is ongoing and would visit other channels within and around the Lagos waterways in weeks to come..