The Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have come under one umbrella known as Federal Maritime Agencies Committee on Activities of Barge Operations on Lagos waterways, to clamp down on illegal barge and jetty operators around the kirikiri Lighter Terminal.
During a massive enforcement led by operatives and security officers from the three Federal maritime agencies, the team sealed up illegal jetties, load-bays and impounded tug boats without approved certifications along the very busy channel notoriously known as hide out for deviant elements.
In addition to this, the ongoing clamped down and enforcement initiative would result in a visit to other channels within and around the Lagos waterways in weeks to come.
According to a report from the committee, barges were seen wrongly anchored and obstructing visibility on the channel were immediately compelled to move out of the right of way and find approved access to operate.
The action of the committee task force, which took most barge and illegal jetty operators by surprise, was sequel to the recent uproar generated by careless barge operators and unlicensed tug boat crew members, whose actions had led to avoidable fatalities.
Daniel Hosea Gangun, chairman of the Federal Agencies Committee on the Activities of Barge Operations, stated that the committee would not relent until there is total compliance of barge and illegal jetty operators to adhere to extant regulations on transportation on the waterways.
On the buy in of stakeholders, Gangun disclosed that the organised private sector and barge operators’ association gave their approval to the enforcement regime, adding that their petitions to sanitise barge operations informed the Federal Agencies’ intervention.
Accordingly, the sealed illegal jetties and tugboats without approved documentations, were manned by NIWA police to prevent violation of the seal order.