In an effort to shore up the revenue profile of the nation and also ensure that activities in the extractive industry are streamlined, the Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Babagana Monguno, have directed the immediate closure of illegal mining sites in Plateau state.
The duo also ordered the immediate arrest of the workers of a mining company, including some Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining in the state and directed that they be taken to Abuja for interrogation.
They gave the directive Monday, when they, in the company of Gov. Simon Lalong, visited some mining sites at Campania Zurak in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau.
According to NAN, Fayemi said that his ministry was responsible for issuing licences to mining companies; and that the one operating in Zurak had not approached the ministry for a licence.
Fayemi reaffirmed his ministry determination to check illegal mining in the country, adding that Federal Government has warned that it would no longer tolerate any act of sabotage on the nation’s economy.
He said that the ministry will always frustrate the activities of illegal minners, and reassured that doing such would boost the country’s revenue and contribute significantly to the diversification of the country’s economy.
The Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Solomon Lalong said the measure marked the beginning of the fight against illegal mining on the Plateau. Lalong maintained that if the mineral deposits I’m the state were properly harnessed, the state would not rely on federal allocation to survive.
Hon. Idris Maje, (Wase Federal Constituency), who was part of the delegation, affirmed that illegal mining had persisted for almost a decade in the area
Myke Uzendu, Abuja