Miners, under aegis of Federal Cadastres Miners Association, Lagos State chapter, have urged the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to reverse a policy which banned them from working, and allowed a few persons to mine sand.
The association, which protested at the Punch Place, the corporate headquarters of Punch Nigeria Limited, on Thursday, said since January 2016, when the state Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources placed the ban, their means of livelihood had been cut short, while unauthorised persons were now mining sand illegally across the state.
The miners urged the governor to reverse the policy and restore their means of livelihood.
A member of the association’s Board of Trustees, Gafar Ashiru, said, “We are here to show our grievances to the Lagos State Government. We disagree with that policy of the state Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The ministry is the supervising ministry for miners and since January 2016, the ministry stopped us from working.
“We have been stopped from working for the past six months. We cannot feed our families. Our appeals to the ministry have fallen on deaf ears. To our surprise, the ministry allows only a traditional ruler in Epe to mine sand. That has been the case since January.
“Is it only Epe that voted our governor? And we know his government is not one-sided. We are appealing to the governor to reverse this policy.
“He should also look into the ministry. A lot of activities are going on there. We are more than 5,000 who are affected by this policy.”
The Chairman of the miners, Dele Ogunbowale, said the miners were distressed, seeing unlicensed people working, while they, which had the licences, had been stopped from working.