• Monday, July 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG deploys additional 390 mining marshals to strengthen sector

FG raises royalty rates by 100%, introduces new rates, charges

Dele Alake, the minister of solid minerals development says an additional 390 mining marshals have been deployed to further bolster the mining sector reforms.

Since the inauguration of the first batch of 2,220 mining marshals, over 200 illegal mining suspects have been arrested, with 133 prosecutions underway, while illegally mined minerals have been forfeited to the Federal Government.

Segun Tomori, the special assistant on media to the minister, said on Friday that Alake announced the deployment at the passing-out parade for the new operatives in Abuja.

The minister, who was represented by Mary Ogbe, the permanent secretary of the ministry, lauded Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the minister of interior, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for their collaboration in combating illegal mining. Highlighting the successes recorded by the mining marshals, the minister noted that their efforts have significantly reduced illegal mineral haulage and the activities of unlicensed operators nationwide.

“Today’s passing-out parade of the second batch will further increase our numbers, ensuring wider coverage and enhancing the operational effectiveness of the squad,” Alake said.

Abubakar Audi, the NSCDC commandant-general, said that the new operatives underwent intensive eight-week training, preparing them to strengthen the mining marshals’ operations and intensify efforts against illegal miners nationwide.

On his part, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior, said the mining marshals were a product of a successful collaboration between the ministry of solid minerals development and the ministry of interior.

He highlighted the need for continued training and deployment to ensure a comprehensive coverage of the country’s vast mining areas and maximise the benefits derived from solid minerals.

“The progress made so far exemplifies effective collaboration. With this second batch, we have more personnel on the ground, but we must continue training and deploying to protect our mining areas and ensure our nation reaps the full benefits of its solid minerals, for economic development,” Tunji-Ojo added.

The induction of the new operatives brings the total number of specially trained and kitted mining marshals deployed nationwide to 2,610.