Ogun suspends sand dredgers, insists on cooperation with host communities

The Ogun State Government has ordered that all dredging activities be put on hold until further notice when the State Government would have come up with agreed terms that would accommodate both the dredgers, miners and the communities involved.

The Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor, on the Environment, Ola Oresanya as a result of the distress call by Communities along the Ogun River whose living and livelihood have been threatened by the activities of the dredgers and miners.

So also, Mrs Kikelomo Longe, Commissioner for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ogun State advocated for a well-documented agreement between dredgers, miners and the Community Development Associations (CDAs) as encapsulated in Nigerian Mining Law in order to enhance the lives of Community members and sanitize mining and dredging activities across the State including Orimerunmu in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area.

The commissioner made the State Government’s stance known during an inspection tour to some illegal mining sites in Abule Oko and Magboro Areas in Ifo Local Government of the State.

Mrs Longe said that any Community across the State where dredging or mining is being carried out will require engaging the Community and reaching an agreement on ways to enhance the lives of the host community if the supervisory Ministry must give her nod.

 “We’ll make sure they agree with terms of the agreement that is done in safe manners as well as ensure they have a valid licence, valid papers as this will make them dredge in a responsible manner. We have our officers across dredging and mining sites that will give us situation report”. Longe said.

Mr Ola Oresanya said the monitoring came as a result of the distress call by the Communities whose living and livelihood have been threatened by the activities of the dredgers and miners, adding this was the reason why both Ministries carried out on the spot assessment of the situation base on the instructions of His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun that activities of the illegal dredgers be halted with immediate effect.

He said it is obvious that illegal dredging and mining are being carried out without putting into consideration the level of degradation on the road, saying that it has hampered the social-economic development of the Community as the dredging activities are not being done in an articulated manner. “We can see that dredging in this area is not done in an articulated manner and we need to have some kind of ideological map of the river before they can dredge. You don’t just dredge arbitrarily, we need to be able to articulate the process and the progress of the depth they can dredge as well as guide them fully and also make sure the community are carried along in the process”. Oresanya submitted.

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