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JUST IN: Enugu Gov’t moves to regulate mining operations for environmental safety, increased revenue

JUST IN: Enugu Gov’t moves to regulate mining operations for environmental safety, increased revenue


The Enugu State government has announced its readiness to regulate mining operations to ensure environmental safety and enhance the development of the mining sector in the state.

This was made known by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Solid Minerals and Mining, Engr. Samuel Okoro during the inaugural meeting of the Enugu State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), in Enugu on Thursday.


It would be recalled that the Federal Government and Enugu State government in May agreed to set up the state’s Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) to curb the menace of illegal mining and monitor mining companies’ compliance with environmental standards.

Presenting a “4-Point Agenda for Sustainable Development in Enugu State Mineral Sector”, Engr. Okoro, who is the chairman of the committee which has the approval of the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, said it was anchored productivity, revenue generation, environmental management and safety.

Regretting that over 90% of the titles from all mineral classes were either inactive or dormant, he said the inactivity significantly hampers the productivity and economic potential of the state.


“This calls for a definitive course of action to address the situation and harness our state’s mineral wealth effectively, to realize the financial objectives, set forth by the government through sustainable development,” Engr. Okoro said.

On boosting revenue from the mineral sector, he said that the non-payment of royalties to the government was another issue that required much attention as every miner would be required to accurately declare the volume and value of their mined resources, warning that where underpayment of royalties was discovered, the state would enforce severe consequences to deter such practices.

Engr. Okoro lamented that the negative impacts of unregulated mining on the environment, such as degradation of ecosystems, pollution of water sources, and other detrimental effects on the environment and surrounding communities, citing the dangers of irresponsible mining operations on the environment in the Niger Delta where oil spillage and gas flaring in the region have caused extensive environmental damages.

“The issue of environmental protection and preservation is very important to us. Our measures will include robust water and air management approaches. Firstly, every mining company in the State must have a certified environmental expert on their team. They must present EPRP, and EIA, implement adequate Environmental Management Systems in place, and continually provide us with the assessment report of their operation”, he stated.


“It is a very sad reality that safety is one important aspect of mining operations that is expressly given lip service and easily overlooked. It is a reoccurring incident across the African mining industry. If you take note of mining operations in Nigeria, you will find what seems like a systemic safety incident, due to a lack of interest in the implementation of safety measures. Most mining pits lack standard design and the mining engineers usually prioritize production over safety.

“In our case, we are taking steps to ensure that it is not our story before we take action, that is why we are going to take the issues of safety very seriously. We will prohibit all forms of unsafe mining practices in Enugu State. Every mining entity in the Enugu State must have a certified health and safety officer who shall be required to provide this Committee with safety reports of the mining activities.”

Engr. Okoro advised all the title holders to be part of a meeting scheduled for 12th July, 2024, saying it was aimed at ascertaining the challenges they had been facing, resulting in their inability to go into full mining operations, stressing that only less than 10 percent of title holders were currently in operation.


Gov Mbah Inaugurates State Judicial Service Commission, Council on Prerogative of Mercy

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has inaugurated the newly reconstituted Enugu State Judicial Service Commission and the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

The State Judicial Commission, which has the the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ozoemena Afojulu as the Chairman, also has the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Kingsley Udeh; and the President of the state’s Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Chibueze Nnamani. Others are Justice Reuben Onuora (Rtd.), Prof. Andrew Chukwumerie (SAN), Hon. Gabriel Agbo, and Dr. Udechukwu Ezeh.

The seven-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy has the state’s Attorney General as the statutory Chairman, and Barr. Seth Nwokolo as Secretary, while Dr. Rita Emeh as member. The Nigeria Correctional Service, Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation (CAPIO), and the Catholic Institute for Development Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) also have a representative each.

Inaugurating members of the Judicial Service Commission at the Government House, Enugu, on Wednesday, Governor Mbah said their responsibilities were essentially to ensure the welfare and oversee the employment of judicial officers, reminding them that the state needed a functional judicial system to attract investments.

“Recall that in my one year anniversary address, I outlined a number of reforms and steps we have taken in the judiciary. This is essentially because it also ties to the objective of the government to grow our economy, because one of the indicators of the ease of doing business is also the enforcement of contract. But that would not happen if you don’t have a sound judicial system.

“We are currently digitizing and also digitalizing our processes and procedures. Our effort in making sure we get our procedure in court reported verbatim is at an advanced level. What that will also do is to eliminate the burden of longhand reporting to allow our judges be more effective.

“We are also creating specialized courts in the state to fastrack access to justice. So, this is indeed, a very important commission, and we have taken our time painstakingly to select those who made it as members of this Commission,” he said.

Inaugurating the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Governor Mbah regretted that a prison designed to accommodate slightly above 650 currently have over 2000 inmates with over 80 per cent of inmates awaiting trial and charged the members with a robust decongestion of the correctional facilities.

“As you may already be aware, the major function of this body is to review the application on clemency and advise the governor with recommendations.

“It is our hope that your decisions and indeed your reviews will not be taken lightly. They would have to be done with a deep sense of duty and also be guided by the objective guidelines you have in looking at each case. We expect that each case would be reviewed on its merit, not driven by any subjective interest because at the end of the day, this would be for the common good of the society.

“The recommendations you make would ensure that we continue to stay in a safe society and also our prison is decongested,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, speaking during the separate inauguration ceremonies, the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission and Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Afojulu, as well as the Attorney General and Chairman of the Council of the Advisory Council on Prerogative, Dr. Udeh, pledged the commitment of their support to the governor in his push to reposition the state.

“Reconstituting this body is a testament to the fact that you have a father’s heart. The Importance of this function will not be lost on us because if we discharge our duties with sense of responsibility and the expertise required, then we will decongest the prison without letting out criminal elements that will trouble our security and our wellbeing, but inmates that have been reformed”, the Attorney General said.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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