By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has raised an alarm, saying that residents of Apapa are now turning their properties into private jetties and terminals where they now berth barges and evacuate cargoes.
Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the NPA who raised the alarm at a stakeholders meeting organized by the Nigerian Shippers Council in Lagos yesterday assured that the authority has done it’s investigations, identified these facilities and would soon descend on them with sanctions.
Hadiza who was represented at the event by the Lagos Port Manager, Mrs Bola Olotu said that virtually every building in Apapa have access to water and many of them are now handling containers and barges.
According to her, NPA did not license any of these jetties to operate.
“When we tried to gain access into some of these properties on Creek Road, we were attacked, we had to turn back, but I and my team, we were able to finish our investigation when we accessed the place through the waterways, we have taken pictures and sanctions would be netted out soon” she said
Confirming this trend, Chairman of Apapa Residents Association, Brigadier Ago Vaughan said some business men in the commercial section of Apapa have bought properties in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) and have converted them into private jetties and terminals handing trucks daily.
He said “What we have discovered is that some smart Alec’s and companies in the commercial section of Apapa bought properties in the GRA section and turned them into jetties and transport base and truck base”
“We are fighting this and we have written the Lagos State Government, we still enjoy the serenity of Apapa GRA and we don’t want them to turn the area to Ajegunle” he said
The Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the Restoration of Law and Order on Port Access Road, Comrade Kayode Opeifa at the meeting confirmed that two of such illegal facilities are located on Creek Road.
According to him, facilities now operate with eleven barges and they claim to have approval from NPA to do so.
He said the approval they need is that of the Lagos State Government.
Opeifa said that sanctions awaits these residents, even as he stressed that the Lagos State Government frowns at the development.