The National Inland Waterways Authority has given a 14-day ultimatum to owners of sunken vessels and abandoned equipment within its maritime domain in Rivers to remove them or face sanctions.
The Agency gave the ultimatum on Thursday in Port Harcourt in a statement by its Area Manager, Port Harcourt, Abdullahi Dabai, on behalf of the Managing Director, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora.
According to the statement, the wrecks and abandoned equipment had affected safety, security and smooth maritime operations in the area.
Dabai said that the ultimatum which took effect from January 17 would expire after January 30.
He said the authority was determined to ensure that such wrecks were evacuated and disposed to enhance safety.
He warned that if owners failed to do so within the stipulated period they might face sanctions.
According to Dabai abandoned equipment and wrecks were on Rivers and Creeks and the Right-of- Way of NIWA spanning “100 metres perpendicular from the edge of both banks of the River and Creeks’’.
He also said that owners of such wrecks and equipment could approach NIWA Area Office at Marine Base for identification and certainty of ownership to facilitate removal and evacuation.
NAN reports that it is an offence for any person to, without the consent of the authority to obstruct the waterways with rafts; nets; logs; pipelines; pylons; and bridges.