. . . Issues Stop-Work Order at 10 Dredging Sites in Awoyaya, Environs
The Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has embarked on a monitoring exercise to Awoyaya area of the State and its environs, where “stop-work” orders were issued to 10 illegal dredging sites.
Speaking on the incident, the Director of Mineral Resources and Solid Minerals, Geologist Emilio Cardoso said the visit resulted from several petitions notifying the Ministry about illegal dredging activities causing environmental nuisance and degradation in the area.
Cardoso, who led the enforcement team, maintained that the government will ensure that dredging activities are conducted lawfully so that roads, public infrastructure and the wetlands are preserved.
Advising interested persons to obtain necessary dredging permits from the Federal Government, through the National Inland Water Authority, Cardoso emphasised the need to comply with stipulated laws without constituting any threat to the environment.
He said: “We are collating all necessary data as I speak, to first of all know the number of dredging companies we have; after that, we can now separate the illegal ones from the legal companies. In fact, some of these operators we are talking of, don’t even have licences from the Federal Government.”
The Director noted that operations of dredging companies have affected their host communities, making it difficult for residents to commute within their environment easily.
“Landlords are complaining that tenants are beginning to leave their flats for other places because of the situation of the environment”, he said.
Clarifying that the issuance of permits and licensing falls within the purview of the Federal Government, Mr. Cardoso stated, however, that activities of the dredging companies must not bring discomfort to the citizenry or affect government property.
“We have not come here to harass anyone. For now, we have realised the need to convene a stakeholders’ meeting where we will further engage the operators on the appropriate way to carry out their businesses. But for now, all dredging activities will stop until the needful is done”, Cardoso asserted.