Lagos State sand miners have rejected the government’s stop work order, claiming that it is in bad faith.
They said the order breached their agreement with the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo, on consent.
Last Monday, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr O.N. Hotonu issued the order following what he called the continual degradation of the state’s ecosystem because of incessant mining activities which could cause disasters.
But, the Joint Lagos State Miners Association comprising miners from Ajah, Badagry and Ikorodu wrote to the commissioner, complaining that the order was uncalled for.
Their January 26 letter reads: “It (the order) did not only come to us as a rude shock, following our last peaceful and progressive maiden meeting with you (commissioner) and your Permanent Secretary, but also a total disregard for a mutual agreement on the way forward in the sand mining business.”
“It is on record and we stand to be challenged, that a high percentage of senior staff in the ministry allocated consent and mining sites to themselves without any experience in the specialised profession. Non-members of the mining association also get consent through the backdoor,” they said.
The association fingered a level 12 officer, who had thrice found his way back to the ministry after being redeployed for alleged sharp practices, as the one bringing quacks into the business.
The quacks, they claimed, pay their way to secure consent through him and his cartel.
The association urged Oluwo to summon a meeting of stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Source: The Nation Nigeria