14th March, 2012
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said that his government will soon enact a law prescribing tough sanctions for individuals who engaged in illegal sand mining activities in the state.
He gave the warning on Tuesday, in Badagry, shortly after he and some members of his cabinet inspected some coastal erosion and illegal mining sites at Akido.
The governor, who noted that illegal mining activities had devastated the environment, said that a decisive action was necessary to prevent the situation from worsening the problem of coastal erosion in the state.
He was particularly concerned about the environmental damage which the illegal miners had done to Akido and other communities in Badagry.
The governor warned of the grave danger which the development posed to the residents.
“These miners have dug in some places almost four to five metres to the Atlantic Ocean; that is danger waiting to happen and here we have leaders and all sorts of representatives, as well as traditional rulers.
“So, it is a call for community action to address the problem because the people who are dealing in this illegal and very dangerous business are not alien. They are members of the community here from Akido, Badagry,” he added.
Fashola charged the leaders of Akido community and other communities facing similar problems to challenge the illegality by reporting the perpetrators to law enforcement agents.
He said that the ministries of the environment, waterfront development and energy would work closely with the communities to tackle the problem frontally.