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Lagos declares zero tolerance for illegal dredging activities

Ayodele Olalere

Lagos State government has again lamented the infiltration of illegal sand dredging companies in different parts of the State, declaring that it will commence a clamp down exercise on all illegal dredging sites in Lagos State.

In a statement from the Ministry signed by its Assistant Director Public Affairs, Adetola Idowu, announcing a zero tolerance policy on illegal dredging activities in the State recently in his office at Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Olalere Odusote, was quoted to have insisted that all dredging companies within Lagos State must have Federal Ministry of Mines & Steels approval before they would be allowed to operate.

According to the release, the Commissioner added that Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA), Sand Search Report, Bathymetric Survey & Hydrographic report, Survey Plan and Proof of Ownership/Sub Lease on the land where dredging site is located among others are other requirements needed for operation by any dredging company in the State.

The Commissioner maintained that dredging companies found dredging without any of the above listed documents or selling wet sand would face prosecution.

His words: “The sale of wet sand is totally banned in Lagos State, any dredging company selling wet sand shall be prosecuted. Apart from this, the transportation of wet sand is also not allowed, any truck carrying wet sand shall be seized and auctioned by the Ministry. ”

He also disclosed that trucks carrying sand and parked on the express roads within Lagos State will no longer be tolerated, saying that such trucks would be towed away and auctioned by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Speaking on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Engr. Odusote stated that all dredging companies within Lagos State, would henceforth, be requested to submit yearly proof of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the community they operate to the Ministry.

While stressing that all roads leading to dredging sites shall be maintained by the dredging companies in that specific location, Odusote averred that penalties shall be imposed on dredging companies for non-compliance with Health safety and environment standard (HSE).