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Bayelsa to regulate dredging activities as Diri signs three bills into law

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Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has condemned the activities of sand dredgers in the state without recourse to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

He said that the activities of sand dredgers in the state had become worrisome, as they were partly responsible for most of the natural disasters in some communities.

The governor stated this when he signed three bills, the Bayelsa State Audit Bill, Information Technology Development Agency Bill and the Regulation of Sand Dealing, Dredging and Reclamation Operations Bill 2020, into law as part of his administration’s effort to promote good governance and enhance revenue generation.

Diri, in a statement by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, however, lauded members of the House of Assembly for their foresight in sponsoring the bill to regulate dredging, saying that it will help protect the environment from further degradation.

He said: “We cannot have people dredging sand without an EIA. Nobody talks about the impact of such activities cause our environment.

“This is something that has been bothering me and I didn’t know that the Assembly was already working on it to address the problem.

“A lot of natural disasters all over the place are traceable to some of these acts that we ignore. I am happy that I have assented to this bill to control dredging activities so that we do not plunge our state into further issues of degradation.”

Diri said the state government was only domesticating Federal Government’s policy to enhance transparency and accountability in its dealings by signing the Information Technology Development Agency Bill.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Michael Ogbere, explained that the Audit Law 2020 was intended to provide a comprehensive and in-depth audit of funds, revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities of the government.

Ogbere, who represented the Speaker, Abraham Ingobere, said the law would also provide for the establishment of an Audit Service Commission that would strengthen the independence of auditors to function effectively.

Meanwhile, the newly-constituted Bayelsa State cabinet on Wednesday held its maiden meeting a day after the commissioners were sworn in.

The governor, who presided at the meeting, stated that the administration would focus on developing agriculture, small and medium scale enterprises.


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