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FG vows to eliminate illegal Mining

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By Victoria Onehi

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has reiterated the  commitment and determination to eliminate illegal mining with effective collaboration of security agencies.

The Minister of  Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake, made this declaration  during the graduation ceremony and presentation of starter-packs  to the graduands of third batch jewelry- making training, organised by the Ministry, in conjunction with the World Bank Assisted Mindiver Project.

A statement by the Head, Press & Public Relations of the Ministry,Alaba R. Balogun, disclosed that the Minister stated that the menace of illegal mining that has eroded and deprived the country of substantial revenue will be nipped in the bud with the political will and firmness of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

While hintimg on strategic measures that will be deployed including effective collaboration with the security agencies, the Minister strongly affirmed that it will no longer be business as  usual barring  the identity of whoever  is involved in this economic crime.

Speaking on the  capacity building programme for 30 trainees on Jewelry-making and Design, conceived under the ongoing minerals sector support for economic diversification project of the Ministry, the Minister stated that Nigerians have no business going abroad to buy jewelry in view of her large  potential to contribute immensely to jewelry-making global market. 

He said: ” the solid minerals sector is now the focal point of generating revenue for the country, it is now the next petroleum of Nigeria.

”It is a known fact that Nigeria with its large population has a huge potential for jewellery and it is imperative to create a local jewellery industry that would substantially meet local demand for jewellery products, increase import substitution, create jobs and boost the export value of Nigeria’s gemstones and jewellery”.

To this end, Mr Alake  congratulated the 30 graduands for completing the Master Training Programme  successfully. 

 ” it is my belief that the Jewellery industry when fully harnessed could contribute significantly to national economic growth by creating massive job opportunities.” He said.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mary Ogbe, represented by the Director, Human Resource Management Dept. in the Ministry, Mohammed  Suleiman commended the Hon. Minister for his most valuable  support enabling the completion of the empowerment project within his short time in the ministry.

Earlier, the Project Coordinator, (Mindiver) Sallim Adegboyega Salaam enthused that the policy on value addition has been prioritised by the Ministry in the mining sector, stressing, jewellery making is part of the strategies for implementing the downstream value additional policy.

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