The Enugu state government has banned all illegal mining activities, warning that there would be dire consequences for illegal miners who flout the directive. This is coming less than a month after TheCable’s investigation exposed how private coal miners had taken over mining activities in the state, making millions of naira, yet degrading the environment and destroying livelihoods. Announcing the ban in a statement on Thursday, Chidiebere Onyia, secretary to the state government, said it was in the overriding interest of the public to protect the people from any hazard or pollution and also maintain equal rights of benefits accruable from any mineral resources to the people of the state. “Following the directive by His Excellency, the Governor of Enugu State, on the report of the discovery of mineral resources in some communities in Enugu state; and the illegal mining of such mineral resources in those communities without the authorisation/consent of the State Government, I hereby direct that all illegal mining activities in Enugu State should stop with immediate effect,” the statement read. On his official Twitter handle, Dan Nwomeh, the head of the Peter Mbah media office, said illegal miners had wreaked untold havoc on “our environment and denied the government of lawful revenue, of course with the connivance of government officials. Mbah, while inspecting water pipelines recently met an illegal coal mining site”.

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