Enugu State Government, on Monday, began sealing of illegal mining sites in the State.
It has also set up the Enugu State Committee on Mining activities to checkmate the menace.
The Committee, which was led by its Chairman and Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu, stormed a mining site in Awhum, Udi Local Government Area, owned by Milhouse Energy Services Ltd.
Addressing newsmen after a firsthand inspection of mining activities at the site where various infringements ranging form environmental degradation to blasting without approval and due regulations, non-remittance of staff tax to the State government despite deducting same from the staff, as well as non-remittance of pension contributions to the pension scheme despite deducting same from the staff, among others, were discovered, Ugwu said the government would not fold its hands and watch the environment destroyed and lives engendered.
“Our mission is basically to seal, on behalf of the State government, mining activities that do not have any recourse to the State government.
“We are also here to look at what is going on and you have all seen a lot of environmental degradation going on.
“We equally want to see the veracity of the license, which they claim they have and to find out how they have been remitting their environmental fees to the Enugu State Government.
“Importantly, we want to find out the mitigating plans they have in place. We are very much interested in what happens to these host communities and their environs many years after these miners have closed shop because if you take a look at the Niger Delta, the people are still suffering greatly from environmental degradation caused by oil exploration activities of many decades ago,” he said.
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