By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Lagos Area office, at the weekend pulled down shanties on Lagos channels around iddo waterfront to secure the area for navigation.
The development was sequel to petitions and reports of unwholesome activities and presence of suspected pirates who hide in the shanties where they plan and launch attacks against legal occupants of waterfront facilities, not excluding leaving behind fishing nets on the waterways to takedown boats and vessels transporting goods across the channel.
NIWA’s Area Manager in charge of Lagos State, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah who led the clearing operation , disclosed that all waterfronts in the state where the federal regulatory agency finds such habitations shall be pulled down.
She said the federal government through the Agency, would no longer tolerate the situation where miscreants pretending to be fishermen, convert waterfront ambiance to slaughter houses and operational grounds to attack innocent users of the waterways.
” We want to change the narrative of engagements on our waterways and the era when people blame NIWA for not being proactive enough is over.“And until people respect constituted authority on right of way on Lagos waters, we shall not let them sleep” she added.
“Also on NIWA radar at the Ijora waterfront to which adequate notice and certain human intervention has been carried out to forestall breakdown of law and order, and also to avoid unnecessary accusations against government good gestures in husbanding waterfront property across the state.
” I think we should be seen to discharge our mandate without fear or favour and in weeks to come, we would create a clear picture of what is where and who has our mandate on such critical areas.” the NIWA boss stated.
On the emerging presence of water hyacinth which is making navigation almost impossible in Ikorodu Area of state, Engineer Braimah disclosed that harvester and a NIWA team has been deployed to clear the menace and provide access to boat operators and movement of vessels to the Ikorodu Inland Port.
She further explained:” I think we can address this issue of water hyacinth technologically and as soon as the rains would allow us some time to do a good work, we are surely going to get around it one way or another”.