Coal Mining Firm, Milhouse Agrees To Pay N1Billion To Enugu For Environmental Damage, N100,000 Tax Per Truckload Of Coal

Milhouse Energy Services Ltd, a coal mining firm at Awhum in the Udi local government area of Enugu State, is to pay the sum of N1 billion into the State Environmental Remediation Trust Fund.
The firm will also pay N100,000 tax per truckload of coal evacuated from the mining site.
According to a statement issued by the Governor’s media office, the fund will be transparently managed by an independent committee of professionals specifically for the remediation and healing of the affected environment.
The company’s mining site was one of many sealed by the Enugu State Committee on Review of Mining Activities headed by the Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu, following a crackdown by the Governor Peter Mbah’s administration on illegal mining sites in the state, including those without environmental impact certification and remediation plans.
In addition, an Enugu State High Court also granted an interim injunction restraining Milhouse Energy Services and African Pits & Quarries Ltd, their agents, servants, privies, and workers, among others, from “carrying on further activities, environmental degradation, damaging and interfering in whatsoever manner with the large expanse of land situate at Ibite Awhum”.
However, following discussions with the state government, Milhouse Energy Services Ltd may return to the site in earnest.
This follows an agreement with the state government, which will see the company pay the sum of N1 billion for environmental remediation. It will also pay N100,000 as tax per truckload of coal evacuated from the site.
The company had mined and evacuated coal from the site since February 2022 without any payments or recourse whatsoever to the Government of Enugu State.
Sealing the site in September, the chairman of the committee, Ugwu said that “while the state is not contesting the fact that solid minerals are on the Exclusive Legislative List, we will not accept indiscriminate mining activities and degradation of our environment”.
“We will not accept that people will enter our state and start carting away our resources without recourse to the Enugu State Government.
“So, we want to see the veracity of the license, which they claim they have from the Federal Government, and we have given them a letter inviting them to a meeting.
“We also want to find out how they have been remitting environmental fees to the Enugu State Ministry of Environment because we will not fold our hands and watch our environment destroyed and lives endangered,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mbah’s administration has continued its crackdown on illegal and indiscriminate mining activities with enforcement tours and sealing of some sites.

Source: SaharaReporters