NSCDC Set To End Illegal Mining Activities, Partners Solid Minerals Ministry For Effective Tactical Operations

The Minister of Interior, Hon. (Dr) Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has formally handed over the NSCDC Commandant General’s Mining Marshal which was newly commissioned to ensure adequate security in the mining industry; he handed the squad over to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development expressing optimism that the squad will end illegal mining activities soon.

Represented by the Commandant General (CG) of NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, the minister noted with satisfaction that the Corps had made unprecedented arrests of illegal miners including foreign nationals from China.

The squad code-named, ‘Operation Hayakinkoko’ according to the Minister is to smoke out all illegal miners who are responsible for the loss of huge national revenue from mining that is supposed to accrue from the sector.

We are losing huge amounts of revenue from illegal mining activities, Olubunmi stated.

The 60-member Mining Marshal, also known as the starter group was presented the the Minister of Solid Minerals Development with membership drawn across state commands based on credibility, and trained for effective service delivery commander by CSC John Onoja Attah, it is to be replicated in all the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

On his part, the Commandant General of NSCDC assured the minister of bringing the activities of illegal miners to an end and hinted that already, the Corps discretely has a record of illegal mining sites in the country.

Also speaking in a welcome address, Mr Henry Dele Alake, expressed delight in the quick response of the NSCDC by making available its personnel who are trained to address the menace of insecurity and ensure that only registered operators exist in the mining industry.

Alake who described the presentation/handing over of Mining Marshal to his ministry as symbolic and epitome of all that had been discussed at the inter-ministerial committee set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, applauded the Corps for bringing his ministry’s plan to fruition.

On assumption of duty in the ministry, he revealed part of his 7-point agenda in line with the renewed hope of Mr President was to create Mines Police to address insecurity in the sector, and expressed delight with the provision made by NSCDC irrespective of the nomenclature.

The Minister said the expectation of the present government is for solid minerals to contribute over 50 per cent of the nation’s revenue and decried nefarious activities of illegal mining which must be kept in check.

In response to the above, he maintained an inter-ministerial committee comprising ministries of Mining and solid minerals, Blue Economy, Interior and Police Affairs to fashion out ways to sanitise the industry and since then, members of the committee had worked relentlessly noting that the Marshal formed by the NSCDC and subsequent interventions by other agencies are all efforts in addressing challenges in the mining sector.

Other highlights of the event were the presentation of goodwill by the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Mining, Hon. Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi who assured the Ministry and stakeholders of the National Assembly’s support.

The legislator said with the commencement of security protection of the sector economic fortune of the country will change positively against the regrettable practice whereby local minerals are even smuggled out of the country.

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