The Federal Government of Nigeria has stepped up its campaign towards raising awareness against illegal mining and eliminating the scourge besetting the sector.

This was contained in a press release issued on Thursday by the Deputy-Director, Information and Public Relations, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Alaba Balogun.

This development is a part of the government’s effort to curb illegal mining in the country and ensure that the solid mineral sector contributed significantly to the gross domestic product of the economy.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ sensitization/enlightenment workshop titled: ‘’Illegal Mining, An Act of Economic Sabotage’’, organised by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in Ibadan, Engr Ajayi Gbenga, Zonal Mines Officer South West, explained that the spread of illegal mining in Oyo State and the entire country wa an act of economic sabotage which had deprived the nation of substantial revenue, including causing serious environmental degradation.

The Zonal Mines Officer posited that, “The pervasive spread of illegal mining operators in Oyo State is a hydra-headed monster that has negative multiplier effects on the nation’s economy.”

He further stated that “it poses a stumbling block to genuine local and foreign investors in the sector as well as a clog in the wheel of progress of efforts by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to diversify the economy in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.”

Ajayi commended the Federal Government for establishing the Presidential task force tagged ‘’Solid Mineral Special Task Force, SMSTF”, which is saddled with the responsibility of curbing the alarming spread of the menace of illegal mining activities in the South West and entire country.

To actualize this laudable objective, Ajayi averred that the States-based Mineral Resources and Environment Management Committee, MIREMCO (as provided in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining, Section 19 of the Act, 2007 and Nigerian Minerals and Regulations, 2011) must cooperate with the State Governments to realise their mandate.

“Synergy of efforts with the main committee (National Committee) of the SMSTF will empower the relevant agencies of government to achieve their overall objective of effectively curbing, if not outright elimination of illegal mining operations across the country; with the capacity to carry out a sting or crack down operations against them.

“It is pertinent to state that the Solid Minerals Special Task Force, SMSTF, is structured to have the National Committee made up of the main committee and a technical committee at the headquarters level.

“The Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake is the chairman of the main committee,” he further stated.

FG tightens noose on illegal mining activities

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *