By Sandra Chukwunyere
In a bid to arrest the urgly development within the maritime industry, arising as a result of the arbitrary use of the waterways, barges and jetties by operators, which has also resulted to series of reports of abuses of process and generated a lot of accusations, counter accusations and pettitions, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has desended heavily on the operators mosty the unsea-worthy barges as well as illegal jetties. A statement issued by the Authority on Monday which was signed by the Acting General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications , NPA, Nasiru Ibrahim, it said that the decision to clamp down on the operators was as a result of the establishment of an inter-agency committee comprising of representatives of the NPA, Nigerian Maritime Administration Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA).
However,, the statementequally noted that the committee is spearheading the “clearing of the waterways of lay-by barges and tugboats along Ibeji/Ilashe axis and as far as the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal and Mile Two Bridge, as well as the removal of wrongly anchored barges that are obstructing visibility along the Kirikiri channel.
While soliciting for the cooperation of stakeholders at ensuring that barge operations are executed according to laid down regulations, the committee expressed its commitment to sustaining the current tempo of enforcement until operators totally comply with all laid down regulations. “To this end, regular patrol of waterways will be carried out and sustained,” the statement assured.