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Henceforth any vehicles used for illegal mining at the First Industrial Park at Osile-Sofolu village, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Obafemi/Owode Local Government in Ogun State will be impounded and their owners prosecuted.

This warning was contained in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Wednesday by Mr. Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor.

Somorin quoted Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the State Government as saying, “It is intolerable that some people will turn that Industrial Park to an illegal excavation site as opposed to against 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.

“Now activities of illegal miners foretell grave peril to the inhabitants of the immediate environment as a direct consequence of their activities.”

The Statement notes 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,” Mr Talabi said, “a stop work order has been issued and sign post erected warning that illegal mining was prohibited in that axis.

“We have given them enough notice. Now enforcement takes immediate effect. We are deploying armed security policemen at the Government acquired property closed-up enforcement surveillance. There is no debate – anyone no matter how lowly or highly placed who contravenes this embargo on all forms of mining will be guilty of not only trespass on Government land but for environmental offences,” the statement added.

He said the State Government had sensitised the people and as “a serious Government concerned about our environment, 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.”

The SSG said it was not proper to mine on a low land area, especially one which was earmarked for industrial development.

“The Government would not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue because illegal mining in the area has made the Park suitable for the purpose it was earmarked for when government procures sand, laterite from other areas to fill up the ground at a great cost,” the Statement surmised.

Kunle Somorin
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor