NIWA, NPA, NIMASA Clamps down on illegal barge operators

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  • Seals illegal jetties
  • Impounds tug boats without legal documents

(Report by Udeme Clement):

The Federal maritime agencies Committee on activities of barge operations on Lagos Waterways, has clamped down on illegal barge and jetty operators around kirikiri Terminal, which is notorious as hide out for deviant elements.

The Committee embarked on the exercise in a show of massive enforcement led by Operatives and security officers from National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and NIMASA.

Our Correspondent gathered that the exercise was a huge success, as the enforcement team sealed illegal jetties, load bays and impounded tug boats without approved certifications along the very busy channel.

Even barges seen wrongly anchored and obstructing visibility on the channel were immediately compelled to move out of the right of way, in order to find better access and approved access for operations.

Thus, the action of the task force, 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.

More so, the Committee Chairman, Captain Daniel Hosea Gangun, stated that the Committee would not relent until there is total sanity in the system.

He insisted that barge operators, as well as jetty owners must ensure total compliance to the rules of engagement.

His words: “The barge operators and jetty managers must adhere to extant regulations on transportation along the waterways”.

On the buy – in by stakeholders, Captain Gangun disclosed that, the organised private sector barge operators association gave its nod to the enforcement regime, adding that their petitions to sanitise barge operations informed the intervention by federal agencies.

Accordingly, the sealed illegal jetties and Tugboats without approved documentations, were manned by NIWA Police to prevent violation of the seal order.
The enforcement exercise is on-going, the team would visit other channels within and around Lagos waterways in weeks to come.

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