25 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Calabar – The Cross River Government has constituted a nine-member task force on illegal sand and laterite mining in the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr Edward Ogon, said the task force was inaugurated as part of efforts to checkmate the erosion menace in some parts of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the task force is headed by the Executive Secretary, Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA) Mr Gabriel Egare.
Other representatives were drawn from Flood and Erosion Control Department of the Ministry, the Ministry of Information and Orientation as well as the Civil Defence Corps.
According to Ogon, the task force can arrest persons engaged in illegal sand and laterite mining in the state. “The task force which began work in earnest had already visited areas such as Parliamentary
Extension, Ikot Uduak, Satellite Town and other areas in Calabar metropolis,” he said.
Meanwhile, no fewer than four trucks have been impounded by the task force and taken to the premises of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Owners of the affected trucks had been directed to pay a stipulated fine before they could recover their trucks, Ogon said.
The commissioner also warned those were engaging in illegal sand and laterite mining to desist from the act or face the wrath of the law.
Ogon said the illegal activities had negative effect on the residents of the state who suffered losses of property and residential houses due to flood and erosion menace.