….. Asks Companies To Furnish House With Copies Of Permits, Other Relevant Documents For Verification Next Week
By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
In continuation of the inspection on illegal dredging activities in the State, the Lagos State House of Assembly 7-Man Ad Hoc Committee on dredging has continued the investigation visits to the inland dredging areas with officials of the Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure.
The Committee who inspected the dredging areas of Awoyaya areas of Ajah met with representatives of Niirend Nigeria Limited, Rockstar Shelter Limited, Horlegin Resources Limited and Hon. Bayo Balogun Company in Old Bodije at Ibeju Lekki Local Government, to assess and evaluate the representation of their dredging conducts.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Victor Akande, stated that National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) approved most of the sites in the area, adding that many of them did not have permits for dredging and selling from the State Government.
Akande noted that the roads leading to the dredging sites were in a state of dilapidation and were still in use despite their terrible state.
“Lagos is about to become a smart-city and we cannot have the roads in the communities in a deplorable state.” Akande lamented.
According to a resident of Awoyaya Community, Mr. Fetus Olayemi, the dredgers flout orders for the ceasing of their activities during the lockdown, adding ” without regard to the peace of the people, they just continue dredging while endangering the lives and properties of the communities around the areas”.
Olayemi further informed the Committee that the community leader had informed them that dredging activities during lockdown would take place only at night due to the lockdown thereby creating discomfort.
One of the representatives of Uniquedros Limited, Mr. Femi Abebe, who had been in the business of dredging since 1995, explained that as dredgers, they had also had issues with the local touts in the area who continually harass them for money thereby making the business environment stifling.
Abebe disclosed that Nigerians had been replaced with foreigners in the dredging sector in the area.
However, the Committee invited the dredging companies to furnish the House with copies of their permits and other relevant documents for verification next week Wednesday.
It would be recalled that early this month ( May), the House resolved to check the indiscriminate activities of dredgers and miners along the shorelines in the state.
Hence, it set up a 7-Man ad-hoc committee to investigate the various indiscriminate activities pointed out by the lawmakers during plenary session.
The resolution to investigate illegal dredging, was made after a motion of urgent public importance was moved by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Noheem Adams, who called for the need to put on hold all dredging activities in the shorelines of the state as it causes serious threat to the existence of the residents.
In the motion, Adams (Eti-Osa 1) urged state government and the House to take decisive steps on the matter as he hinted that dredgers in spite of various complaints and even as the lockdown subsists, the dredgers continued their activities in the areas across his constituency.
Meanwhile, the House had alleged that majority of the dredging companies operating in the state are not paying the required dues to the state government and in the process causing serious loss to the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
This was disclosed during plenary on Monday (May 18) when Hon. Victor Akande, the Chairman of an Ad-hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the alleged illegal and indiscriminate activities against dredging companies in the state, presented a preliminary report of his committee.
Akande said only one out of about 66 dredging companies in operation on Lagos waters is up to date in payment of required dues and taxes to the coffers of the state government.