FERMA partners Police against illegal mining
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) said it was collaborating with the Police to check activities of illegal sand miners digging up road verges on Ikorodu-Itoiki road in Lagos.
FERMA engineer in charge of Lagos-East area, Mr Tayo Awodun, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that the partnership became necessary because of the recalcitrance of the miners.
According to Awodin, in spite of various raids of the highway by the police, the sand miners have remained adamant.
“FERMA does not have power of enforcement, so, we leave enforcement against road abuse to the Police.
“We had a case of those illegal sand miners removing laterite from the road verges and we went there to stop them.
“We have also written to the Police to stop the activities,” he said.
Awodun said that constant removal of sand from the road verges which were the edges of the highway, on both sides, could cut the road into the two when the rains begin.
He explained that the road verges served as sort of foundation that when removed, could cause collapse of the portions involved.
He lamented that the sand miners had removed sand on various portions thereby threatening the highway.
Awodin said that FERMA had sustained existing collaboration with various communities along the highway to arrest the ugly trend which had been on for some years.
NAN investigations revealed that pits created by activities of the illegal sand miners were usually filled with refuse from people who lived along the highway.
Awodun commended various efforts of the Federal Government to increase funding of the road infrastructure, adding that, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road and other highways in Lagos-East would receive attention soon.
He, however, said that funding had remained a major issue affecting road maintenance in the country.