We arrested three miners, paid N2bn compensation to landlords – Akwa Ibom

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Patrick Odey, Uyo

THE enforcement team of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and Petroleum Resources, has arrested three suspected illegal miners in the state, the Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Charles Udoh, has said.

Udoh, who spoke with our correspondent on Tuesday, said the suspects were arrested last week without any licence, documentation or environmental impact assessment plan.

He warned illegal miners to desist from further polluting the land and added that anyone caught would be prosecuted.

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“The activities of illegal miners are very disheartening in our state. Last week, the enforcement team of the Ministry of Environment arrested three of them and they are now in police custody. None of these three had any form of documentation, licence or any form of environmental impact assessment plan,” Udoh said.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Justice in the state had commenced the process of arraigning them in court, adding that due process would be followed.

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Meanwhile the commissioner said the state government released N2bn for payment of compensation to owners of land and crop along the right of way for the IBB Avenue flood control drainage project.

Udoh said work had progressed on the N14bn World Bank-assisted project meant to control flooding in flood prone areas of the state.

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He explained that a total of 499 persons benefitted from the first leg of the payment while the next phase would soon be paid.

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