The Anambra State government has said that it would begin to go tough on illegal mining activities of natural mineral deposits in the state, as according to government it would no longer be business as usual.
The Managing Director of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (Ocha Bridge), Celestine Anere made this known during the passing out parade of 700 Staff trained in Awka, capital of the state.
He said that decisive action would be taken against any person found illegally mining and creating erosion channel in the state.
“From now onward, it is war with illegal miners in the state. Ocha Bridge will find out all illegal miners in the state. We will arrest them and prosecute them,” he said.
According to him, Governor Chukwuma Soludo has said that the state would no longer tolerate further illegal mining in the state.
He further said that the state as erosion-prone area has zero tolerance for illegal miners.
Anere said that they had already started stopping illegal sand miners in the state and will continue to save the state from degradation.
“We have already confiscated some trucks and a excavator,” he said.
According to him, any person found mining illegally in the state, Ocha Bridge will confiscate his trucks and other mining equipment. For any person to engage in any mining activity, there must be proper environmental impacts assessment duly carried out by experts,” he said.
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He, however, advised the members of the Ocha Bridge to shun any act capable of tarnishing the image of the task force.
He also said that Ocha Bridge would no longer tolerate staff collecting bribe which, he noted, had in the past undermined their operations.