The government of Oyo State has issued a stern warning to both illegal and registered miners who are in the habit of not paying their due tax to the coffers of the government to desist from such act.
Decrying the loss of revenue to illegal mining and the failure of registered mining companies to pay tax and other dues to the coffers of the State, the government noted that it would soon begin to clamp down on such illegal practices.
The Chairman, Oyo State Mineral Development Agency, Mr Abiodun Oni, gave the warning while on a familiarization tour to mining sites at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday.
Oni said before the advent of the present administration, many illegal miners had been operating in the State without check and thereby causing a lot of havoc to the environment and health of the people.
“Oyo State government is losing so much to illegal mining activities and this has been happening long before the present administration came on board, we are presently looking into ways by which we can stop this, it has to stop,” he said.
He explained that mining sites where such illegal activities abound include some areas in Ibadan, Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa, where he accused some businessmen from other parts of the country, aided by some indigenes, of operating without check.
Damage to Ecosystem
“Illegal mining contributes so much to degradation of the soil layers and causes a lot of damage to our ecosystem, we have to stop it and we are already in the process. That is why we are here to meet with those that are legally registered with the State to engage in mining business and facilitate a good rapport with them so as to engender cooperation.
“We will need their cooperation so as to be able to get them to do their constitutional obligations to the State, which is to pay their tax and dues for the State to develop infrastructures and maintain our environment, ”Oni said.
While calling on quarry owners and mining companies to give more cooperation to the State, Oni reaffirmed government’s readiness to give them support for the growth of their business.