The Ogun State government has warned owners of vehicles used for illegal mining at the First Industrial Park at Osile-Sofolu village, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Obafemi/Owode Local Government area of Ogun State to desist from the act or have the vehicles impounded and their owners prosecuted.
This warning was contained in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Wednesday, by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin.
According to the statement, credited to the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, “It is intolerable that some people have turned the Industrial Park to an illegal excavation site, as opposed to the original intention of the State Government to build a park to promote economic development of the State.
“The park which was acquired and allotted in 2011 at the twilight of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration, to accommodate the cluster of industries in the fast growing industrial estate.
The Statement indicated that ‘’shortly before the commencement of the 2019 general elections, and during a recent routine inspection, it was discovered that massive mining had resumed at the Industrial Park. Following this discovery a stop work order was issued and sign post erected warning that illegal mining was prohibited in that axis’’.
Talabi said it was not proper to mine on a low land area, especially one which was earmarked for industrial development, adding that Government would not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue because illegal mining in the area had made the Park unsuitable for the purpose it was earmarked for when government procured the land.
He said the State Government had sensitised the people and as “a serious Government, we detest illegal mining, which could in the long run lead to ecological disasters. We will not allow that to happen. We will clamp down on these illegal miners in the interest of protecting the property from further degradation and Government would not hesitate to fine and punish anyone caught according to the extant laws of the state”.
“We have given them enough notice. Now enforcement takes immediate effect. We are deploying armed security policemen at the Government acquired property, with closed-up enforcement surveillance. There is no debate – anyone who contravenes this embargo on all forms of mining will be guilty of not only trespassing on government land but for environmental offences,” the statement added.