• Friday, April 19, 2024
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Nigerian govt unveils mines marshal to strengthen security in mining sites

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The Federal government in a bid to curb cases of insecurity especially in the mining sector has unveiled a new security architecture, ‘mines marshal’. The 2,220 man squad is saddled with the responsibility to smoke out illegal miners and all those who flout the nation’s mining laws.

Speaking during the unveiling in Abuja on Thursday, Dele Alake, the 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 Nigeria Police, army, amongst others. He also explained that the marshal will have their command and control domiciled in the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development(MSMD), with an initial 60 operatives deployed in each state and the FCT.

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

“So, amongst 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.

Read also:Illegal mining ravages Jos, residents desperate for protection

He explained 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; the Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Defence Ministry of Police Affairs; the Ministry of Environment and amongst others, and I chaired this ministerial committee.

“Today’s event of unveiling and formally handing over the specially trained and selected civil defense structure to engage illegal miners and sanitize our mining environment was also part of what we conceived at the inter-ministerial committee chaired by me. 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 apparati is what we are launching today.”

Read also:Prioritising security in the development of Nigeria’s mining sector

In his remarks, the Commandant-General of NSCDC, Abubakar Audi, expressed confidence that the new mines marshals will effectively protect national assets and infrastructure, including solid minerals.

He said that the marshals will be expected to liaise with mine inspectorate in states to garner intelligence and take directives from the ministry for effective execution of its mandate.