The Enugu State Government on Friday announced a ban on illegal mining in the state with immediate effect.
News Agency of Nigeria reported that this disclosure was made by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for Enugu State, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia during the inauguration of a committee to review mining activities in the state.
The SSG for Enugu cautioned against illegal mining in the state, adding that dire consequences exist for flouting this government’s directive.
Reason for the ban on illegal mining in Enugu
According to Prof. Onyia, Gov. Peter Mbah’s administration’s ban on illegal mining activities is to protect residents from any sort of hazard related to illegal mining and maintain equal rights of benefits accruable from the mineral resource to taxpayers.
In his words,
- “Government observed that it is in the overriding interest of the public to protect the people from any hazard or pollution, and also maintain equal rights of benefits accruable from any mineral resources to Enugu people.”
The SSG said the ban aligned with Gov. Mbah’s directive on the report of the discovery of mineral resources in some communities and the mining of the resources without the government’s permission.
Enugu committee to curb illegal mining
The committee set up to review mining activities in Enugu is headed by the Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Sam Ugwu.
Members of this commodity include Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Kingsley Udeh; Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy and Resources, Kingsley Nnaji; Special Adviser to the Governor on Legal Matters, Osinachi Nnajieze; and Chief Security Officer, Government House, Mr Alex Akinlalu.
Some additional members of the Enugu committee on illegal mining include the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Onyeator Vincent; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Mainstream Media, Dan Nwomeh; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on External Relations, Uche Chukwu, and Special Assistant to the Governor on Revenue, Sandra George.
According to Prof. Onyia, the committee will work to identify illegal mining sites, stop all illegal mining, review all environment assessment documents for all legal mining companies, and reassess and validate all mining companies in the state.