FG Set To Deal With Illegal Miners – Fayemi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Set To Deal With Illegal Miners – Fayemi

Posted: Feb 23, 2016 at 10:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chinwendu Nnadozie

The Federal Government will in no distant future commence scrutinising and documentations of all solid minerals miners across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, towards maximising the economic potentials of the sector to the country.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Fayemi made this known during his one day working visit to Niger State on Monday, adding than in doing so the federal government will revoke licenses of all miners.
Mining and exploration sector have been dormant and have not operated for optimal utilisation for over a period of time. This, according to the minister, is largely as a result of the neglect the sector had suffered over the years.

The ministry had to reconcile between, ‘illegal and those who are classified as legal miners, explaining that the ministry is working towards formalising the different interests by helping the illegal miners organize themselves into co-operatives in order to help them with facilities to access finances.

Dr. Fayemi said: “Many people in Nigeria own mining pits, exploration and small scale licences and they are not operating in the places where they are occupying with the licences. This is not acceptable.”

“Government turned blind eyes to such activities for a long time but we will no longer tolerate that. In a matter of weeks, we will publish the names of people who are holding onto dormant licences that are not in use and give them an appropriate period to redeem themselves or have their licences revoked.” The Minister who was on a fact-finding tour of the state however explained that the Federal Government is not out to criminalise ordinary Nigerians who are working hard to eke out a living for themselves but if they choose to remain illegal after government has extended its hand of support, they would have to face the wrath of the law.

Governor Bello in response called for seriousness on the part of Federal Governments in the development of solid minerals as the discovery of solid minerals in states would further cement existing relationships between it and the states in the diversification of economy.

The governor said that over-dependence on oil is no longer paying Nigeria.
“There had not been seriousness in solid minerals and agricultural sector in the past. We have been too dependent on oil revenue which is not available to us again. We need to start developing other sectors that will be economically viable for the nation,” he said.

Governor Bello lauded the effort of the minister in ensuring that those with licences put them to use.