Osun State Government in South West Nigeria says it has lost millions of naira to illegal mining and exploration and deforestation
The state Chairman, Task Force on Mining and Forestry, Elder Adelowo made this disclosure as he took a tour of illegal mining and exploration sites at Olode Falola village in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the state.
Adebiyi who said Osun is blessed with God-given natural resources and other rich solid mineral deposits said suspects were arrested following the Task Force visit to the site.
“We were here at Olode Falola village in Ikire sequel to a tip we received that some illegal miners have been exploring our solid mineral resources without exploring and mining licenses
“Fortunately for us, our task force team in company of security operatives met the perpetrators on the spot working with different exploratory apparatus like tractors, driller, generator, elevator among others to defraud the state of her resources illegally.
“We got them arrested and handed them over to the police for further investigation.
Elder Adebiyi said whoever wants to be an explorer or miner, must fulfil all constitutional requirements by obtaining the mining license and operational permit from both the federal and the state governments respectively.
He said interrogation revealed that the suspects were neither licensed nor authorised to explore the state resources, saying the unconstitutional deployment of heavy machines to the site showed the level of losses to illegal mining.
The Chairman said the suspects who were caught exploring the lime stones and feldspar in the area were unable to justify their actions.
“These people have breached the constitutional provisions for mining and exploration because they failed to present to us any legal document to facilitate the purpose for which they came.
“Though they claimed to be processing their license but as a matter of fact they are not because these suspects couldn’t present any evidence to that effect”, he explained.
The Task Force Chairman however said the state was not in any way interested in disturbing any person’s business but to ensure that miners follow due process.
He assured those interested in mining of necessary cooperation, saying efforts are in top gear to develop the non-oil sectors of the state.