The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has announced that there is a provision in its 2019 budget for the removal of the dangerous shipwrecks littering Lagos waters and preventing navigation for boats and vessels.
NPA’s Harbour Master at Apapa Port, Capt Uduiguomen Eboreime stated this in Lagos recently when management of the Lagos ports paid a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy.
DAILY TREND NEWS reports that the presence of ship wrecks within the Lagos and Tin Can Island port channels poses threats to cargo vessels which come in or leave the port on 24-hours basis.
Flag Officer Commanding, FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji had recently led a team of journalists and senior naval personnel on an ‘on-the-spot of the Lagos waters, lamented the hazards associated with submerged wrecks. He said the area that is mostly affected is the Tin Can Island, Kirikiri, Navy Town and bad portion of the Badagry Creek.
The NPA Harbour Master has however assured that in the budget of 2019, the removal of wrecks was added on NPA budget, because according to him, NPA is earning money from operators along the affected areas, especially from tank farm operators, but the agency is not giving any benefit in return.
“The operators actually had a chat, they were waiting for survey of the wrecks, they want us to give them information before they can now implement”
“These wrecks that you see disturbing on the waters are going to be removed, the channel is going to be dredged”
“There was a time the Hydro of the Navy wrote to us, informing us of the wrecks and asked us to write notice to mariners, I just laughed because if I write a local notice to mariners, who is going to see it? People that are coming there are making use of local survey chats, and there is a portion that says that this chat is not used for navigation, so that if anything happens, nobody would be held for litigation”
“It is in our budget, and before the end of this year, things would be done, the waters would be cleared upto and beyond Navy Town, Ojo as Tank Farms are now located all around the area” Capt Eboreime assured
Speaking on the attacks on vessels while at berth at the ports by sea robbers from snake island and Ogogoro Village creeks along the channel, the Harbour Master said sea robbers cannot come onboard a vessel and steal 20litres of paint without any connivance with some persons working onboard the ship.
According to him, “Concerning the robbery at the port, it is a connivance between people, because for the thieves to come onboard and carry 20litre paints, it is definitely a connivance”