Milhouse Energy Services Ltd, a coal mining firm operating in Awhum, Enugu State, has reached an agreement with the state government to address environmental concerns. As part of this deal, the company will make a significant payment of N1 billion to the State Environmental Remediation Trust Fund.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Furthermore, Milhouse Energy Services Ltd has committed to paying N100,000 in taxes for every truckload of coal removed from the mining site. This arrangement aims to support the environmental recovery and remediation efforts in the affected areas.
The decision to establish the State Environmental Remediation Trust Fund and collect these taxes was made with a focus on transparency. The fund will be overseen by an independent committee of professionals responsible for ensuring that the resources are directed towards healing and restoring the impacted environment.
This development follows the sealing of the company’s mining site by the Enugu State Committee on Review of Mining Activities, led by Prof. Sam Ugwu, the Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change. The crackdown on illegal mining sites in the state, especially those lacking proper environmental impact certification and remediation plans, was initiated by the administration of Governor Peter Mbah.
An Enugu State High Court also issued an interim injunction restraining Milhouse Energy Services and African Pits & Quarries Ltd, along with their agents and workers, from engaging in further activities that may cause environmental damage in the Ibite Awhum area.
Through discussions with the state government, Milhouse Energy Services Ltd has now agreed to the compensation package and tax scheme. The company had been mining and transporting coal from the site since February 2022 without making payments or addressing the concerns of the Enugu State Government.
The state government’s stance on this issue, as explained by Prof. Sam Ugwu, underlines their commitment to protecting the environment. He emphasized that while solid minerals fall under the Exclusive Legislative List, indiscriminate mining activities and environmental degradation will not be tolerated. The state government expects mining operations to be conducted in compliance with regulations and with consideration for environmental impact.
Governor Peter Mbah’s administration has also continued its efforts to combat illegal and unregulated mining activities in the state, including site inspections and the sealing of non-compliant locations.