It was a surprise visit to the Marina Coastline in Lagos on Tuesday 15, 2020 as the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi ignored the early morning downpour, paid an unscheduled visit to the coastline and made a surprising stop-work order to all Barge operations in the area.
To say the fact, there are many areas like this in Lagos that has constituted nuisance to the environment and defile its beauty. Yes, we understand that some of the people who own these trucks and containers are trying to make ends meet but constituting health and security hazards to the environment is never a good thing. Orderliness is important, everything should be well regulated.
It is a good thing that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to revoke barge approvals granted some companies operating in Lagos.
Hon. Rotimi Amaechi is currently the Minister of transportation and has ordered that trucks must immediately stop coming to Marina to load goods. Which of course is a good step to clean the Marina front and start restoring the tranquillity and beauty of the area.
One thing to note about the visit to the Marina Coastline is that, if you look at the photo below closely, the Governor’s attitude is showing a form of good leadership by him holding his own umbrella and not allowing his aides. This is about taking responsibility as a leader. Yes, it might be just a small act and may go unnoticed but it’s in little things as such that you know the character someone is made of, especially someone in his position.
Although The National Inland Waterway Authority (NIWA) Act dictates that all watercraft in Nigeria’s inland waterways be registered with NIWA yet Hon. Rotimi Amaechi claimed that NIWA did not grant anyone the permission to carry out barging operations, insisting that all such activities must stop immediately. Meaning that the use of trucks, containers and barges for commercial and trading purposes in the Marina Coastline is illegal.
The Federal Ministry of Transport talks about the concordance they have with Lagos State Government and the Commissioner of Police to stop those using the road for trading. Agreeing with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to cancel all barge permits pending when each person will come back to NPA, NIWA and Lagos State Government to renew their approvals. This means that the NPA, NIWA and LASG must be in agreement before approval can be granted to anyone to use the barge for any purpose.
On the other hand, there is a lot of work to be done for the Nigeria police force in this regard as Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute anyone who disobeys the order and stop “unauthorised activities” on the Marina Coastline. It’s going to be tough work for the Nigeria Police because as we know, Nigerians are hard to control sometimes and also dealing with corruption that might erupt as the police will be trying to stop these illegal activities.
At the inspection site, the governor said and I quote:
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 to do.Babajide Sanwo-Olu