Does Fayemi lack the heart to end illegal mining in Nigeria, NMGS asks
The leadership of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has alleged that more than 1000 mining sites across the country are occupied by illegal miners.
The discovery seems to have armed the group to start to query the capabilities of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. kayoed Fayemi, to end the scourge so as to give room for real registered and licenced miners.
President of the society, Prof. Gbenga Okunlola, at a recent press conference to announce the 2017 National Conference of the NMGS in Abuja said Illegal mining has remained a recurring decimal in the sector in spite of efforts by the Federal Government to harness the sector in the quest to diversify the economy.
Before now, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had stated that the Federal Government was losing about $1.54bn per annum to illegal miners.
But just as the minister has disclosed what the nation is losing in the hands of illegal mining, aggrieved miners are querying the whereabouts of the recent N150bn support fund for the mining sector from the World Bank towards the end of last year.
Only recently, the National President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sani Shehu, had said that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps recently closed about 27 illegal mining sites in Lagos, Edo, Taraba, Imo and Plateau states, but that the problem was still persisting.
Many of the illegal miners still see the resource as God-given natural resource at their land which nobody can take away from them in the name of government.