RVHA Sets Up Committee To Check Sand Mining

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The Rivers State House of Assembly has set up a committee to check the activities of illegal sand miners in the state.
The action follows a petition presented by member representing Emohua State Constituency, Hon. Sam Ogeh, over activities of sand miners at Okohia, Isiodu in Emohua Local Government Area.
Ogeh stated that the illegal dredging of the river to mine sand by commercial sand miners had become worrisome, to the extent that if their activities were not checked, it might pose danger to the East-West Road.
He said, “The activities of these sand miners are threatening the environment. Their activities are not for any economic wellbeing of the people, but for personal profits. They don’t mind the negative effects on the environment”.
Ogeh, who is also chairman of the House Committee on Information and Training, said the situation at Isiodu was such that the activities of the sand miners caused the river to overflow its banks, and was gradually threatening the East-West Road.
Among motions moved by Ogeh alongside the petition were a quick and immediate visit of the site by the Assembly Committee on Environment, an action by the state Ministry of Environment to check the miners, and any other action that might be deemed necessary to address the matter.
After debate on the petition by members, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji Ibani referred the matter to the House Committee on Environment.
The speaker further said, “The House has to be circumspect in order to come up with a sound resolution”, adding that “we need to exploit the shortcomings in the Exclusive List in order to protect the people and the environment”.
Ibani’s view stems from an earlier argument by Hon. Michael Chinda of Obio/Akpor 11, who noted that matters of mining were under the Exclusive List, and that the Assembly was highly restricted to debate on such matters.