Niger State Government has reiterated its commitment to put an end to illegal mining activities in parts of the state.
The State Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Garba Sabo Yahaya gave the assurance during an interface with newsmen in his office last weekend in Minna.
He said while the ministry was prepared to clamp down on illegal miners, adding that a window of engagement was being opened with artisanal miners in the state with the view to peacefully end the illegality.
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The interface was coming on the heels of the marching order given by Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago to the ministry to curtail illegal mining activities in the state.
The Commissioner emphasised that contrary to the views of uncertain quarters that the governor’s directive was aimed at witch-hunting a set of people in the state, he pointed out that the governor’s intention was aimed at purging the Solid Mineral sector of activities that pose a threat to the security of lives and properties of the residents in the state.
The Commissioner thereby advised the artisanal miners to form a cooperative society stressing that it would make it easy for them to access any intervention from the government through their leadership.
Yahaya maintained that mining activities must be checked and regulated by the government as well as the consent of land owners highlighting that the practice where illegal miners trespassing without the consent of land owners will no longer be tolerated.
“We will soon engage with land owners because we owe it a duty to protect their interest for the sake of peace.
We have a Company called Zuma Mineral Resources we will woo investors and will make sure we provide an enabling environment for investments including making sure that those Investors carry out all the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) for the benefit of our people,” he said.
He said all hands must be on deck to ensure that there is peaceful coexistence in the state.
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