The Ekiti State Government has sealed the premises of four second-generation banks in Ado Ekiti, the state capital over violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Laws.
The Environmental Protection Agency in the state’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources also sealed some business premises for non-payment of the necessary dues for EIA and audit.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mrs. Tosin Aluko-Ajisafe, said the move was to restore sanity in the state, adding that the sealed facilities will only be reopened when the owners did the needful.
Aluko-Ajisafe said: “Governor Oyebanji’s administration has approved the enforcement of the state Environmental Protection Law 2010 as it relates to EIA. All corporate and private business owners violating this law will have their business facilities sealed.”
She said the ministry had earlier written to the organisations but they ignored the 43 days’ notice given to them.
“We have written to them, all the banks and private sectors the malls, the eateries. We have given them 43-day notice and none of them has responded to our letter, that is why we are here this morning to seal up the building. They were meant to pay their dues and have refused to pay, since they have violated the law they have been sanctioned; that is why we have sealed up their banks.”
The General Manager, SEPA, Olukayode Adunmo, emphasised that obtaining the EIA certification is mandatory for any building owners, saying defaulters risk heavy sanction.
He said, “The state Environmental Protection Law stipulates that before any construction is done in the state, you must obtain an EIA certificate. However what we have seen in most of the banks is that at the time the buildings were constructed, they did not obtain the necessary permit from the Ministry of Environment.
“Having gone through our records in conjunction with the state Internal Revenue Service, which told us that they could not find the names of the banks as having paid the necessary dues for EIA and for audit, we have to commence this activity to certify whether they paid or they evaded the content of the law”.