July 19, 2024

FG Shuts Down Mining Firm Due To Illegal Activity in Ogun

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Due to unlawful mining activities, the Federal Government has closed down a sand dredging and mining enterprise that was operating in the Obafemi/Owode local government area of Ogun State’s Ilate-Etido Community.

Officers from the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals and Development, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, sealed the corporation on Tuesday. It was owned by an Osun State businessman and operated under the name Ojibas Nigeria Limited.

It was learned that, as of August 12, 2022, the Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office, Abuja, had canceled the mining company’s operational license, which prohibited it from dredging laterite and sand in the neighborhood.

Additionally, it was learned that the business carried on with illicit mining operations employing police officers and soldiers as security cover, even after the mining licence was revoked and announced in NMCO, Abuja’s official gazette.

On May 28, 2024, a group of law enforcement officers from Zone 2 Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Onikan, Lagos, and troops from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, assaulted the company and apprehended suspected illegal miners at a dredging site.

Along with arresting some police officers and soldiers who were acting as cover for the illegal miners, who were led by a Chinese national, the security team also took them to Onikan for questioning.

Before then, a large number of the host community’s citizens had protested the corporation, citing the detrimental effects of the area’s unlawful sand dredging on their farmlands, the ecology, and their means of subsistence.

Chief Shamsideen Ajibawo, the community head of the Ilate-Etido community, praised the Federal Government for enforcing the “stop work order” against the mining company, which was operating illegally in the community, during his speech on Wednesday over the sealing of the business.

In addition to engaging in illegal activity, he added that the sealing action will provide much-needed relief to the community and that the mining firm has seriously deteriorated the environment in the Ilate-Etido village.

“In response to these illegal miners’ operations, I personally submitted a number of letters to the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals, the Cadastral Mining Office, the Office of the General of Police, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the Ministry of Mines, Ogun State.

“I also learned that the company’s operating license had been canceled when I traveled to Abuja, but the promoter of the business refused to leave the community, bragging that he had bought up all the land in Ilate-Etido and the natives need to give it up to him.

The community was ecstatic when soldiers from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, and police officers from the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, arrived to apprehend the armed police officers and illegal miners who had been intimidating my people.

“Our people will be happy with the sealing of the illegal mining company as the company took them through hell,” stated the Federal Mining Office in Abuja in a recent incident. According to Ajibawo,

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