Experts Raise Alarm Over Illegal Mining in Kogi

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Experts in the mining industry have raised alarm over the spate of illegal mining activities being carried out across the three senatorial districts of Kogi State.

The experts who spoke yesterday in Lokoja during a stakeholders forum organised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Industry said there was a need to chart a new course in the mining sector so as to align with the economic diversification plans of the federal government.

Federal Mine Officer in charge of Kogi, Engineer Golden-Okpataku Fatima lamented that with the incessant illegal mining activities, the vision of the ministry of transforming Nigeria into an industrial hub through foreign direct investment would be in jeopardy.

Engineer Fatima however expressed optimism that with the sole mandate given to the ministry to regulate mining activities in the state, generating funds to all tiers of the government was sure as illegal miners would face tough days ahead.

While encouraging prospective miners to adhere strictly with the stipulated regulations, a guest speaker Engineer Abdulkadir Usman emphasized that the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals was still an exclusive right of the federal government, explaining that miners have to pass through the necessary stages of registration before being authorized to operate.

Relying on the various Mining Sector Acts, Engr Usman said Federal Mines Officers have been empowered to arrest without warrant, any miner without title that authenticates ownership of sites.

In his remarks, the Kogi State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Mr Everistus Obiyo said the forum was timely as the country is groping with the effects of economic recession which he said was occasioned by the monolithic economy of dependence on crude oil.

Obiyo urged all stakeholders to observe the regulations in the mining industries, assuring the readiness of the corps in the state to provide adequate security and protection of mineral deposits in the state.

Credits: Itodo Daniel Sule | Daily Trust

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