Barge Operators Engage FG, Lagos Over Ban From Marina, Lagos

·Say only 5 operators affected

The President of Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN); Mr. Edeme Kelikume has disclosed that the association has already commenced talk with the Federal and Lagos state governments over the recent ban on barge operations along the Marina coastline.

Recall that the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu and the Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Ameachi last week ordered the stoppage of barge operations at the Marina coastline.

The two officials who inspected activities around the Marina coastline, gave the order during a visit to the road traffic-congested Marina approach to Lagos port in Apapa, they raised that the activities of the barge operators are shocking and unacceptable.

But, speaking exclusively with our correspondent on the ban, Mr. Edeme Kelikume confirmed that talks are already ongoing with the government as regards the ban, even as he acknowledged that the government has the prerogative to decide how the public infrastructure is used for the common good of all.

He said the association is engaging the Lagos state and federal government, so that those who have been licensed to operate within the Marina corridor can resume operations.

He informed that, as a matter of fact, only five barge operators were affected by the ban.

“Yes, the Governor has the prerogative to decide how public infrastructure is used for the common good of all, so if they view that barges should not operate along the Marina corridor for obvious reasons, to them is okay, however for those that have been licensed to operate at that corridor, we are also engaging with the government at both state and federal levels to understand what step can be taken. By next week, I think we should have fully engaged with the government. I think it is four or five operators in that corridor were affected.

On his part, another barge operator; Mr. Yinka Bakare said the association is already reviewing the ban and at the appropriate time the association will react to the impact.

“We are still reviewing it, at the appropriate time, we will react, we are looking at the impact of this ban and the association is already in talks with the government as regards this” he said.

When contacted to confirm if licenses of the barge operators operating within the axis have been revoked, the Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA); Mr Ibrahim Nasiru told our correspondent that the authority is yet to get an official memo to that effect, he said as soon as the authority gets the memo, it will commence work.

“We have not got an official memo on that, it is until we get an official memo that we can start acting” he said.