The Commissioner for Petroleum And Environment, Dr Ikechukwu Njoku, disclosed this, recently, in a meeting with stakeholders in the mining industry at the Imo Youth Center, Owerri.
Dr Njoku stated that the meeting was aimed at interacting with those in the mining field and to reminde them of the significance of the environment to the existence of man.
He noted that the state was experiencing a lot of environmental degradation, hence, government had to ban all mining activities in Owerri municipality, until an agreement on modalities for mining was reached.
The Commissioner who enjoined them to support the government policies, pointed out that Governor Hope Uzodinma led administration was that of shared prosperity and service oriented, adding that achieving a habitable environment was a collective responsibility and further urged the stakeholders to work in partnership with the government towards protecting the environment.
Contributing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Dr Dan Okoro, disclosed that government has the responsibility of protecting lives and property and most especially, the environment, adding that all the minners would be relocated to a place approved by the state government. He charged them not to be misled by anyone or coerced to paying money into anyone’s bank account as those who do not adhere to government’s directives would face the full weight of the law.
The Federal Mines and Steels Development Officer, Engr Olugbenga Fadere, said that the federal government was aware that mining would impact on the environment and therefore established the mines and environment department to work in synergy with the Ministry Of Environment.
Bright Eluagu is the Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to the Commissioner for Petroleum And Environment, Imo State