• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo


FG unveils security outfit to tackle illegal mining

FG unveils security outfit to tackle illegal mining

The Federal Government, on Thursday, unveiled a new security architecture, ‘mines marshal’ to curb cases of insecurity, especially in the mining sector

The outfit with 2,220 operatives is saddled with the responsibility of smoking out illegal miners and those flouting the nation’s mining laws.

Speaking during the unveiling in Abuja, Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, said that the command structure will spread across the 36 states and the federal capital territory, with operations largely driven by technology.

Read also: Tunji Ojo inaugurates mining Marshals to oversee 1,175 illegal mining sites

According to him, the mines marshal which is an inter-agency security outfit is expected to incorporate special operatives from other security agencies like the police and army, among others. He said the marshal would have their command and control domiciled in the ministry of solid minerals development, with an initial 60 operatives deployed in each state and the FCT.

According to him, “Insecurity had bedevilled the mining sector of the economy and it had combined with all the variables to short-change Nigeria in terms of revenue generation.

“So, among others, the issue of combating insecurity in this sector became quite known for the success of this minerals sector in Nigeria. Without the security of the mining sector, we can’t increase the revenue yield. I hope and believe that minerals are the next saving revenue of the Nigerian economy.

Alake said that the sector under his leadership has a target to contribute at least 50 percent to the nation’s GDP, adding that securing the operating environment was imperative to achieving the set target.

“We want the mineral sector to contribute more than 50 percent to the gross domestic product of Nigeria, and that is our long-term objective; so, securing this operating environment is critical to the achievement of this objective. We marched words in action.

“The president has set up an inter-ministerial committee, comprising the ministry of solid minerals; ministry of marina blue economy; ministry of interior; ministry of defence ministry of police affairs; ministry of environment, among others, and I chaired this ministerial committee.

“The unveiling and formal handing over of the specially trained and selected civil defence structure to engage illegal miners and sanitise our mining environment was also part of what we conceived at the inter-ministerial committee. I am very happy to let the public know that from the outset we said we are going to tackle insecurity in the mining sector and the first batch of the security apparatus is what we are launching today,” said Alake.

Read also: FG to end illegal mining using kinetic, non-kinetic strategies — Alake

Abubakar Audi, the commandant-general of NSCDC, said that the marshals would be expected to liaise with mine inspectorate in states to garner intelligence and take directives from the ministry for the effective execution of their mandate.