Nigeria warns international entities supporting banditry-linked illegal mining. The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to form a multi-agency task force against illegal mining.
A deadline was set for illegal miners to change their status and comply with regulations. The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development of the Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a warning to international entities that support banditry in order to carry out unlawful mining in the nation.
Alaba Balogun, the ministry’s head of press and public relations, issued this warning via a statement he released on Friday.
The warning, according to the Punch NG, a Nigerian newspaper, was issued by Minister Dr. Oladele Alake and was relayed during a courtesy visit from the Nigeria-China Chamber of Mines delegation, led by its National President, Dr. Olugbenga Ajala, at his office at the Ministry’s Abuja headquarters, the Minister.
He was said to have said, “The government will come down firmly on these unscrupulous foreign operators sponsoring banditry to perpetrate illegal mining: let me use this medium to appeal through you to tell those sponsors to desist or face the full wrath of the law.”
According to Alake, the Ministry is committed to forming a multi-agency task force to put a stop to the operations of illegal miners and those who assist them.
He reiterated that the government had allowed illegal miners 30 days to change their status and resume their line of work.
He said that doing so would assist “to streamline and structure the Small-Scale Artisanal Miners for maximum yield to the Federal Government.”
The issue of illegal mining and similar unlawful practices is hardly exclusive to Nigeria. Numerous countries across Africa are dealing with some form of complex mining problem. Business Insider Africa recently reported that the DRC was looking to make the cobalt excavation in its country more responsible.