Story by Seun Ibiyemi
The Lagos Area Office of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has pulled down shanties and illegal structures along the Lagos waterways channel in Iddo waterfront to secure the area for navigation.
Speaking during the demolition at the weekend, the NIWA Area Manager for Lagos, Engineer Sarat Braimah said, “The development is 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.”
Braimah who personally led the clearing operation, disclosed that all waterfronts in Lagos where the federal regulatory agency finds such habitations shall be pulled down.
She said the federal government through Niwa would no longer tolerate the situation where miscreants pretending to be fishermen, turn waterfront ambience to slaughterhouses 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 is 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.” Engineer Sarat stated.
“On the emerging presence of water hyacinth which is making navigation almost impossible in Ikorodu area of Lagos, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah disclosed that a 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.
“I think we can address this issue of water hyacinth technologically and as soon as the rains would allow us some time to do good work, we are surely going to get around it one way or another,” the Lagos Area Manager for NIWA explained.