The federal government, on Monday, reiterated its commitment to collaborating with state governments to ensure the elimination of illegal mining activities across the country.
Permanent secretary, ministry of mines and steel development, Mary Ogbe, stated this when the Governor of Taraba, Dr Agbu Kefas, visited the ministry in Abuja.
Mrs Ogbe said there was a need for collaboration between the ministry and Taraba government to curtail incidences of illegal mining in the state.
She said that the illegal activities had become an endemic economic crime, causing hemorrhage to government’s revenue.
The permanent secretary, who was represented by the director, human resources department, Suleiman Kabir, said that the ministry alone could not combat the menace of the mining activities.
According to her, robust dialogue between the ministry and Taraba government will enhance and sustain the efforts at eliminating the activities of illegal miners within the ambit of the law.
Mrs Ogbe commended the move by state governments to prevent the breakdown of law and order occasioned by illegal mining.
She also commended the proactive security measures already taken by Taraba government, adding that the governor should lend necessary assistance to legal miners in the state to engender investors’ confidence.
Responding, the governor, who condemned the activities of illegal miners in his state, said it had caused communal clashes and serious environmental degradation.
Mr Kefas urged the ministry to open a corridor of communication and effective collaboration with the state government.
He said that such collaboration would process and authenticate the licences issued by the ministry to investors as well as other documentation for exploration of mineral resources.
He said that the efforts would also help in curbing and eliminating illegal mining activities across the country.
According to him, the measure will create an enabling environment for attracting genuine investors into the state in order to achieve the much-desired socio-economic transformation of the country.