Akwa Ibom State Government has warn those engaging in illegal mining operations in the state to desist from the act as such operations constitute economic and environmental sabotage and is punishable under the law.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Barrister Ekong Sampson who gave the warning during an inspection of some sites used for the informal operations in Ikot Ekong, Mkpat Enin local government area said the government will take appropriate steps in checking the activities of illegal miners in the state as it poses serious danger on the environment.
While advising the people to refrain from leasing their lands for such activities, Barrister Sampson however urged the miners to ensure compliance with laid down rules and regulations in carrying out their activities.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary in the ministry of environment and petroleum resources, Nsudo Nsudo, who noted that the ministry is taking an inventory of all the illegal mining sites in the state in order to access the impact of the act, stressed that the ministry has set the regulatory framework to ensure that the activities of the miners do not have a negative effect on the people and the community.
Earlier, the Head of solid minerals in Akwa Ibom state, Emem Ibok-Ette, had reiterated the need for the federal and state government to partner in ensuring that the issues of illegal mining is curbed to avert the environmental disaster posed by the act.
ur correspondent Jane Uwa reports that the team also inspected sites at Ibesikpo Asutan and Onna local government areas of the state where the Commissioner appealed to the Paramount ruler of Onna, His Royal Majesty Edidem Raymond Inyang to support the efforts of the government in fighting the menace by enlightening the people on the dangers of illegal mining and enforcing that such acts are stopped in the local government area.
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