In other to preserve the environment, particularly in Owerri Capital
Territory, the Imo State Government has banned all forms of mining and
dredging within the Owerri Capital Territory and its environs.
The government has also warned that any person or persons, company or
group of companies caught mining within the territory will be arrested
and made to face the consequences of such illegality.
The decision was taken at the weekly Executive Council meeting presided
over by the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma at the Executive Council
Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, the Commissioner for
Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba flanked by the Commissioner
for Agriculture, Lambert Orisakwe, Commissioner for Livestock
Development, Mrs Obiageri Ajoku and Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser
to the Governor, Mr Oguwike Nwachuku informed that henceforth, illegal
mining and borrow-pitting in Owerri Municipal has been banned and now an
offence to indulge in such act.
He also said that the council noted with dismay the activities of
criminals on some moribund Government-owned industries such as Avutu
Poultry Farm, Nsu Ceramic Tiles and many others that have been
vandalized by criminals who carted away valuable government properties
and equipment. Council regretted that the most worrisome aspect of it is
that the criminals do so in collaboration with some people within the
community and others who are supposed to protect such properties.
He, therefore, warned that Government is taking the matter seriously and
plans to resuscitate such industries and bring them back to life, hence
has decided that “anybody caught in the act must surely be dealt with
very decisively.” Emelumba said such persons will not only be
prosecuted, “but the government will also make sure such individuals
face the full weight of the law and pay the penalty of the criminal
The Commissioner emphasized that the government has embarked on an
investigation of those who have already succeeded in vandalizing and
carting away some of the properties and that those found culpable will
be fished out and prosecuted accordingly. These measures, he said, are
specifically meant to serve as a deterrent to people that will
contemplate carrying out such activities in the future.
Emelumba informed that the Council commended the Governor for being
proactive on the signing of an Executive Order reducing the tariff of
the communication right of ways, saying that the decision has propelled
some communication companies to take advantage of the reduced funds to
invest in the State.
He said that “most of them are now ready, willing and able to come to
Imo State” and that “soon their presence in the State will engage Imo
youths and reduce unemployment and increase the State Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR).”
Also, he explained that the council commended His Excellency for signing
an MOU with USAID for the provision of potable water, a project that
will make clean water available to many households in Imo State.
In accordance with the terms of the MOU, Council has directed that the
process leading to full incorporation of the Imo State Water and
Sewerage Agency commences immediately as it is a critical part of the
terms of the MOU.
The Information Commissioner also noted that the Council directed the
Ministry of Works to immediately carry out the rehabilitation of very
bad spots at Irete and Mgbidi junctions along Owerri/Onitsha Express
Road, notwithstanding that they are on the Federal roads.
He equally informed that the Executive Council gave approval in
principle that Imo Broadcasting Corporation should commence the process
of digitalization to meet up with the standards in modern broadcasting.
The weekly State Executive Council meeting was attended by the Deputy
Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the State Government,
Chief Cosmos Iwu, Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyehie, the Head of
Service, Dr. Camillus Iwuagwu, all Hon. Commissioners and some Special