FG Asks Dredgers to Disregard Lagos State Stop Work Order

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Martins Ifijeh
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (FMMSD) has called on duly licensed dredgers operating in Lagos State to disregard the ‘stop work’ order issued by the Lagos State Government following a ruling of the Court of Appeal sitting in the state.

 Stating this in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, FMMSD, Mohammed Abass, the Ministry said while it was studying the judgement of the Court of Appeal relating to the particulars of the case in question, all licensed dredgers should continue about their lawful operations.

“Particularly, we wish to frown at the way officials of the Lagos State Government have gone about deliberately distorting the pronouncement of the appeal court in this matter. It is trite to state that by virtue of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended), federal laws, in respect of administration of mining activities and utility of inland waterways supersede those of States. In the instance as it affects issues on the exclusive legislative list,” Abass noted.

He said a cursory review of the ruling of the learned justices of the Court of Appeal indicates a clear recognition of the powers and responsibilities of the various arms and organs of government with respect to administration of mining and inland waterways. “We are therefore at a loss as to why officials of Lagos State Government will willfully attempt to inverse the ruling of the court to suit their much anticipated outcome. The learned justices were clear about the extent and limitation of powers of the various arms of government.”

He explained that the federal ministry takes the development with all seriousness and solemn commitment, adding that FMMSD has already commenced the process of consultations with all relevant and affected arms and agencies of government. “We are confident that an amicable resolution of this issue would be reached in no time, while also committing ourselves to the implementation of lawful court judgments,” he added.