• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
businessday logo


How to curb activities of illegal miners in Nigeria, by NMGS President

Reject enticing gifts from illegal miners, C’River govt urges local chief

The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has suggested ways to curb illegal mining activities which it noted are prevalent in all parts of the country saying proper funding of federal mining offices located in all states of the federation was necessary to equip the officials in monitoring the sector properly.

Nigeria reportedly loses huge amounts of money yearly due to illegal miners involved in the mining of minerals including sand mining in rivers and streams as well as other valuable items.

Akinade Olatunji, a professor and president of NMGS stated this while addressing journalists to mark the commencement of the 255th council meeting of the society taking place in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capitol

According to him, illegal mining activities are being carried out in many parts of the country, adding that it requires equipping states offices of the federal mines with equipment and vehicles as well as funding for running cost to enable the officials travel to all parts of their states to check the illegal mining activities noting that illegal mining activities do not take place in the cities but in rural communities.

Olatunji said apart from increasing the staff strength of the miners in state offices, the federal government should place mining officers and engineers in a special salary scale to motivate them adding that state offices should be provided with vehicles to enable them do their work effectively.

“Each state has a federal mines office, each of the offices should be equipped with adequate staff and equipment. The federal government must stop paying lip service, mining offices should be equipped to perform optimally. We frown at illegal mining activities, it hurts the environment,’’ he said.

The mining sector contributed significantly to the economy of the country, oil brought us resources, but without real development, the kind of development needed to create jobs and employment opportunities.

Olatunji who allayed fears that the increase drilling of bore holes by households in the country has any link with threats of earthquake said though boreholes drilled indiscriminately could pose a threat to the environment, there was no link with the likelihood of earthquake arising from boreholes.

He lauded Akwa Ibom government for making use of professionals in the provision of key infrastructure which he has made the state to have one of the best networks of roads in the country while also adding that the state is endowed with rich mineral resources including clay and silicon.

He said the council would continue to sensitise and create the needed awareness among member states on the need to fully harness and develop the abundant mineral resources.