BY NICHOLAS ABE
Sanity looks set to return to the Marina Lagos coastline road, currently threatened by overflowing articulated container-laden vehicles.
The Federal Government, in conjunction with Lagos State Government, on Tuesday ordered the revocation of all approvals for barge operations along the Marina coastline, which have desecrated the once beautiful and serene route.
Consequently, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to ensure that all such approvals are revoked.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who defied the early morning downpour to inspect activities around the Marina coastline, gave the stop-work order during an unscheduled visit.
They went round the coastline, observing with discontent, the long row of trucks and containers that have constituted health and safety hazards to road users on the Marina. They described the sight as “unwholesome, shocking and unacceptable”.
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.
Amaechi said 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 directed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute anyone who flouts the order to stop “unauthorised activities” on the Marina.
He said the State Government would do everything to bring back 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.