A'ibom State Govt sets standard for sand dredging and mining - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

A'ibom State Govt sets standard for sand dredging and mining

Akwa Ibom State Government has presented a checklist to illegal sand dredgers and miners who pose severe environmental and security threats in the State.
The State government through the Commissioner for Environment, Sir Charles Udoh made this known today 22nd February, 2021 during a brief meeting with Miners Association of Nigeria Akwa Ibom State Chapter in his office.

Sir Udoh said government is not against dredgers and gravel miners, explained that there must be high level of decorum in the business. In his words " Government of Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Mr. Udom Emmanuel is not trying to stop you from dredging, all we want is to ensure that there is a regulation in the industry".

He explained that it is very worrisome that suspicious character from other parts of the state are beginning to find dwelling places in the State all in the guise of sand dredging and gravel mining.

" we regulate the system to ensure that people from
other states don't sneak into our dear State all in the guise of mining then hurt us in the night. In every business, guidelines are implemented. This will help us take off the chaff from the wheat".

The Environment boss advised them to avoid dredging too close to critical infrastructure adding that state government spends huge amount of money trying to put these infrastructure in place.

"Federal Government has not constructed 1km of bridge for the State, I cannot sit down here as Commissioner for Environment and allow someone get a licence to operate from Abuja then come do whatever he like in my State. "

He further explained that " there is a case of someone coming in from Benue state to dredge, without a permit, this must stop. At Nsit Ibom, someone trespassed into the farm land of an aged woman all in the name of dredging, maybe that's all she has to use in paying her children's school fees. At least pay her compensation, have an understanding with her, don't bully her "

When all the do's and don't is completed we will give you a Certificate, a sticker and you put up a sign post in the location, that way, you can do your business without molestation.

Sir Udoh therefore presented the approved checklist for all current and prospective artisanal miners.

1. Formal expression of interest to the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment (MoE)
2. Site verification/Inspection
3. Evidence of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with host communities.
4. Evidence of operational permit/license by Federal Ministry of Mines & Steel (MoM&S) and National Inland WaterWay Authority (NIWA), where applicable.
5. Acceptable Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
6. Evidence of business registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
7. Evidence of up-to-date tax clearance from Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS)
8. Environmental Permit issued by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment (MoE). This is renewable annually while approved locations will be mapped.

He stated that, all operators must subject their sites to a mandatory quarterly environmental monitoring as well as an annual environmental audit.

Sir Udoh disclosed that the above checklist was developed after due consultation with other relevant regulatory bodies as Implementation takes immediate effect.

Responding, The Chairman of Miners Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Engr. Chris Udofia said that they are law abiding citizens and ready to work with the State a ministry of Environment.

Also present at the meeting was the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Mr. Nsudoh Nsudoh

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