The Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday embarked on a monitoring and enforcement exercise to dredging sites in Ibeshe-Ikorodu and Ilaje areas of the State to enforce compliance with the rules and regulations guiding dredging in the State.
Speaking on the exercise, the Special Adviser to Mr. Governor, Office of Mineral Resources, Engr. Abiola Olowu said several petitions have been received by the Ministry on illegal activities of some dredgers in the area and the need to curb the threats such activities pose to residents and the environment. This, according to him, necessitated the issuance of “Stop Work” orders to some dredging sites for non-compliance with regulations.
Engr. Olowu, who led the enforcement team, following the directives of Mr. Governor, explained that dredgers are the major cause of some environmental issues in the State and that the ‘Stop work’ order became necessary to curb the activities of dredgers and protect the environment from further pollution and dilapidation.
He explained that it is no longer ‘Business as Usual’ in the sector, stressing that the priority of the Sanwo-Olu Administration is the safety of the people which is why the Ministry is doing everything within its jurisdiction to ensure that dredging activities are done lawfully.
On his part, the Head of the Sand Mining Department in the ministry, Geologist Emilio Cardoso lamented that the illegal activities of the dredging companies have been affecting every member of their host communities.
“We want the dredging companies to know that their activities must be registered with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. It is our business to know who is working on our land because the government is responsible and accountable to the populace’’, he said.
Cardoso reiterated that the government does not intend to destroy anybody’s livelihood/business, advising dredgers to visit the Ministry so that they can be enlightened accordingly.
Some residents of Ipakodo in Ikorodu decried the illegal activities of the dredgers and their effects on the residents, saying the dredgers have done great damage to some roads within the area without repercussion.
They, therefore, appealed to the State Government to compel dredgers, especially those whose activities are inimical to the environment, to be socially responsible to their host communities.