The Lagos State Government has resolved to stop illegal dredging operations in the state.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, disclosed this during a meeting with the members of the executive council of the Dredgers’ Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.
The meeting was called to seek the cooperation of the association in enforcing guidelines regulating dredging activities and to declare Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s zero tolerance for illegal dredging operations in the state.
According to the Commissioner, though the meeting was a familiarization forum to interact with members of the association and get first-hand information on how dredging activities can be improved upon with the view to maintain the state’s waterfronts and prevent environmental degradation.
While soliciting their support in sanitizing dredging activities in the state, Bush-Alebiosu, disclosed that the state would not condone the spate of illegal dredging activities being carried out in every nook and crannies of the state.
Alebiosu,also expressed the readiness of government officials to begin enforcement activities soon and anybody caught violating dredging laws and regulations of the state would be prosecuted. He therefore, urged them to obtain all necessary permits and regularize their operations forthwith.
He assured them of the government’s readiness to stand by the association in carrying out their lawful activities and also support them in all they do to ensure good waterfronts in the state.
Mr..Kehinde Gbajumo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, expressed his delight that the state executive members of the association were present at the meeting, saying it would go a long way in conveying the views of the state government to their members.
Gbajumo, noted that dredging activities in the state are “No longer business as usual’’, he said the ministry is now all out to enforce the laws regulating dredging activities, he also enjoined them to comply with the guidelines.
In his response, the President of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria, Mr Bature Akpomejero, pledged their support and cooperation to the state government in getting rid of illegal dredgers in the state.
He solicited the support of the ministry for proper regularization of dredging activities to curb the activities of illegal dredgers and their impact on the environment.
Akpomejero also urged the ministry to look into the issue of overloading of trucks by dredgers and those moving wet sand on the roads, which cause a lot of damage to our roads.
The secretary general of the association, Richard Ntan, also lent his voice; he assured the ministry of maximum cooperation and collaboration of the association, noting that they are ready to cooperate with the government.
Ntan called for more such meetings with the ministry to be able to iron out grey areas affecting their operations while fashioning out areas of mutual benefit between dredgers and the state government.