Nigeria: Oyo Shuts Illegal Mining Factories, Arrests 4 Operators

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has clamped down on a…

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has clamped down on a facility being used by suspected illegal miners to process and package lithium out of the state.

The governor ordered the closure of the facility, which was originally a factory meant for recycling batteries and tyres and the arrest of four persons suspected to be operating at the site.

According to him, they operated against the approved licence secured from the government for business operations in the state.

Makinde, who came for an unscheduled inspection tour to the factory site at Idi Ayunre, Oluyole local government area, Ibadan, said that a preliminary investigation revealed that the factory was being operated by some Chinese.

He added that though the federal government issued an operational licence to the miners in line with constitutional provision, there would always be security threats and concerns when states did not have an input in the issuance of mining licences.

The governor explained that the factory and its operators have contravened the Executive Order 001 of 2024 on the safe handling of harmful substances, noting that the arrested factory workers would be prosecuted accordingly.

The governor also said that the state government would take over the factory facility through a court process, until it gets to the bottom of the matter.

He said: “You can see what is going on here; it is still the same problem – the illegal mining activities. Sadly, the folks are even getting bolder. This place, according to records available to us, was meant to be a yard for recycled tyres and batteries.

“But coming in here, you can see there is no single battery or tyre here. They are crushing lithium here and they had support from all over.

“The preliminary investigation indicated that some Chinese are the ones leading this. They also have a lawyer from Katsina.

“The state government will take over the facility via a court process, as this is a clear violation of the Executive Order that I signed and it is a problem that we have to address.

“Some four persons have been arrested and they are with the security agencies. The Chinese people have been taken to immigration and, once we are able to find something to prosecute them, then, we will prosecute them.”

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