Ebonyi State Ministry of Solid Minerals Development yesterday warned residents of the state against storage of solid minerals in residential buildings, insisting that such unhealthy acts are prohibited by the law.
The special assistant to the state governor on solid minerals, Hon Ozoemena Njoku who gave the warning in a statement said that henceforth, any one caught storing solid minerals in residential areas shall have such buildings sealed and the persons involved prosecuted by law.
He stated that movement of solid minerals to warehouses shall be accompanied with letter of permit from the committee on solid minerals adding that any solid mineral found on transit to a warehouse without a permit from the committee shall be seized, disposed and the proceed paid into the state internally generated revenue (IGR) account.
The special assistant to the governor stated that communities in conjunction with the state committee on solid minerals also observed with dismay the inimical attitude of miners and solid mineral buyers in the state.
He noted that the miners and buyers has in the past consistently denied the state government of IGR from the sector and endanger the lives of the people of the state.
Hon Njoku directed all miners and buyers of solid minerals whose solid minerals were confiscated and are kept at Old Government House Abakaliki to come for identification and payment of the necessary IGR from Monday 11th Oct 2021.
He further warned that any confiscated solid minerals not cleared within seven days will be disposed of by the committee on solid minerals and the amount realised paid into the state IGR account.
“All miners and dealers on solid minerals are to proceed to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development Communities to register their Warehouses.
“Any warehouse not registered shall have the building sealed and all the solid minerals therein confiscated and disposed of by the committee on solid minerals and the proceeds paid into IGR account”, he insisted.
He stated that the Solid Minerals Committee shall henceforth carry out inspection of trucks for which a mining company/buyer has paid the haulage fee(s) on for clearance before the truck(s) leave the mining site or warehouse.
“The mining companies and buyers of solid minerals are advised to install their weighing bridge for easy assessment of the tonnage of every truck loaded with solid minerals.
“Any miner or solid mineral buyer that fails to comply with the above guidelines shall be penalised according to the law,” he said.