By Dipo Olowookere
Operators of barge along the Marina coastline in Lagos State have been directed to leave or risk being arrested by the police and made to face the full wrath of the law.
This directive by given by the federal government and Lagos State government and it was part of efforts to restore the beauty and serenity of the coastline.
On Tuesday morning, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, was at the coastline in company of the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as well as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman and officials of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
The Minister said there’s an urgent need to sanitise the entire Marina coastline to restore its tranquillity and beauty, saying that the “unwholesome” activities on the coastline were “shocking” and “unacceptable” and ordered trucks to immediately stop coming to Marina to load.
“The Federal Ministry of Transport has agreed with the Lagos State government to ensure that whoever is making use of the Marina coastline should stop.
“We have agreed with the Commissioner of Police [in Lagos] 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 declared.
On his part, Mr Sanwo-Olu, who expressed his displeasure at the desecration of the once beautiful and peaceful Marina coastline, said the long row of trucks and containers on the waters constitute health and security hazards to the area.
He directed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute anyone who flouts the order to stop “unauthorised activities” on the Marina.
According to him, the state government will do everything to bring sanity to the coastline, saying, “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.”
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