The federal government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has expressed willingness to collaborate with the state governments to eliminate illegal mining activities in the country.
In a statement by the head, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Alaba R. Balogun, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Mary Ogbe, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by Taraba State governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, to the ministry’s headquarters office in Abuja, recently.
The permanent secretary who was represented by the director, Human Resource Dept., Alhaji Suleiman, Muhammad Kabir, stated there is a pressing need for collaboration between the Ministry and Taraba State to curtail incidences of illegal mining in the state, which has become an endemic economic crime causing haemorrhage to government’s revenue beside its attendant security problems and festering community clashes in the states endowed with mineral resources.
To this end, Dr. Ogbe posited that the ministry cannot combat the menace of illegal mining alone, and therefore, sought robust dialogue between the Ministry and Taraba State government, so as to enhance and sustain its effort to eliminate the activities of illegal miners within the ambit of the law.
While lauding the actions of the state government towards preventing breakdown of law and order resulting from illegal mining, the permanent secretary commended the proactive security measures already taken by Dr. Agbu Kefas, stressing that the governor should lend necessary assistance to legal miners in the state to encourage investor’s confidence.
In his speech, the governor of Taraba state condemned the activities of illegal miners in his state whose stock in trade is to create communal clashes and flagrant environmental degradation in their quest for illegal exploration of mineral resources in the state.
To curb and eliminate illegal mining activities, Dr. Kefas urged the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to open a corridor of communication and effective collaboration with Taraba state government, that will process and authenticate licences issued by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to investors as well as other documentations for exploration of mineral resources.
“This measure would create an enabling environment for attracting genuine investors into the state to achieve the much desired socio-economic transformation of the country,” he stated.