Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has implemented an indefinite prohibition on metal scavenging activities across all 27 local government areas of the state.
The governor’s decision aims to prevent further killings of scavengers by Boko Haram insurgents on the outskirts of certain local government areas and to combat the theft of public property. During the announcement of the ban in Maiduguri on Monday, Governor Zulum emphasized the need to address these unlawful activities.
Governor Zulum stated, “Over the past five years, numerous individuals have lost their lives due to metal scavenging. This has prompted the government of Borno State to thoroughly investigate these illicit activities.” He further explained the significance of the ban, highlighting that the affected areas consist of government properties and telecommunication company assets. These acts of metal scavenging can be considered economic sabotage against both the federal and state governments.
Consequently, Governor Zulum has directed the prohibition of metal scavenging across all 27 local government areas until further notice.
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The governor expressed concerns about the destructive behavior exhibited by these scavengers, who have caused substantial damage to both public and private properties in areas where residents were compelled to flee due to Boko Haram activities. He revealed that the state government has incurred substantial losses, amounting to billions of naira, over the past five years due to the actions of these scavengers.
Governor Zulum emphasized that the ban encompasses all forms of informal and unregulated metal recovery activities, encompassing the dismantling, collection, and transportation of scrap metals. To ensure compliance, the Borno State government intends to collaborate closely with security agencies and impose stringent penalties on violators of the ban.