Oyo State Government on Friday decried the loss of revenue to illegal mining and failure of registered mining companies to pay tax and other dues into the coffers of the state.
The Chairman, Oyo State Mineral Development Agency, Mr Abiodun Oni, who was on familiarization tour of mining sites at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, said the government was not happy with the development.
He said before the present administration came to power, many illegal miners have been operating in the state without being checked, thereby wrecking a lot of havoc on the environment and the health of the people.
Oni stated that mining sites where the illegal activities abound include Ibadan, Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa, where he claimed businessmen from other parts of the country aided by some indigenes operated without being checked.
He said: “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.
“Illegal mining contributes so much to thw degradation of 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.”
Calling on the quarry owners and mining companies to cooperate more with the state governemnt, he reaffirmed government’s readiness to support them to ensure the growth of their businesses.