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FG raises alarm over spread of illegal mining in Oyo state

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By Victoria Onehi

The Zonal Mines Officer South West,Engr Ajayi Gbenga has  explained that the spread of illegal mining in Oyo State and entire country, is an act of economic sabotage which has deprived the nation of substantial revenue and causing environmental degradation.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ sensitisation/enlightenment workshop titled: ‘’Illegal Mining, An Act of Economic Sabotage’’- organised by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in Ibadan; the Zonal Mines Officer posited that the pervasive spread of illegal mining operators in Oyo State is an hydra headed monster that has negative multiplier effects on the nation’s economy.

He further stated that it  poses a stumbling block to genuine local and foreign investors in the sector as well as a clog in the wheel of progress of efforts by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to diversify the economy in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration. 

To this end, Engr. Ajayi commended the Federal Government for  establishing the Presidential task force tagged ‘’Solid Mineral Special Task Force (SMSTF), which is saddled with the responsibility of curbing the alarming spread of the menace of illegal mining activities in the South West and entire country. 

To actualise this laudable objective, he averred that the States based Mineral Resources and Environment Management Committee MIREMCO (as provided in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining, Section 19 of the Act  2007 and Nigerian Minerals and   Regulations 2011) must cooperate with the State Governments to realise their mandate. 

He added that synergy with the main committee (National Committee) of the SMSTF will empower the relevant agencies of government to achieve their overall objective of effectively curbing, if not outright elimination of illegal mining operations across the country; with the capacity to carry out a sting or crack down operations against them.

In a statement by the Deputy-Director (Information & PR, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development,Alaba Balogun,the Zonal Mines officer said it was pertinent to state that the Solid Minerals Special Task Force (SMSTF) is structured to have the National Committee made up of the main committee and a technical committee at the headquarters level.He noted that the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake is the chairman of the main committee. 

The workshop is the second in one Stakeholders Training and Sensitization/Enlightenment campaign on Illegal Mining As An Act of Economic Sabotage & Training On Soft-Computing Models For Crusher Selection And Optimum Rock Fragmentation: Application Of Crushware and Fragware: was  organized by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; and held at the Federal Secretariat Complex Conference Hall, Ikoloba Ibadan, Oyo State.

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