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Minister inaugurates marshals to combat illegal mining in Nigeria



The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to combat the menace of illegal mining in the country with the official inauguration of a group of Mining Marshals Corps.

Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development officially launched the Mining Marshals Corps, aimed at tackling the issue of unauthorized mining activities in Abuja on Thursday.

Alake disclosed that the mining marshals were selected from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He stated that the NSCDC, being a countrywide paramilitary organization, is set to position its units nationwide.

“On assumption of office, we announced the seven-point agenda as the strategy to position the solid minerals sector for domestic growth and international competitiveness.

“A crucial component of the agenda is the transformation of the security architecture to combine ground troops with innovative technology.
READ ALSO:Powerful Nigerians in illegal mining are the ones funding banditry, terrorism —Minister, Alake

“To demonstrate the priority this administration places on security, the president set up an inter-ministerial committee on the protection of natural resources which I chaired.

“The protection of the mines, the forests, and the coastal shores of the country were critical components of our brief.

“One of the outcomes of our strategy is what we are witnessing today- the presentation of the mining marshals to engage illegal miners,” he said.

On his part, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Interior Minister, mentioned that due to revenue losses in the mining sector, it was crucial to quickly establish the mining marshals.

He mentioned that the marshals were chosen from the elite members of the corps and had undergone specialized training.

Furthermore, Rep. Gaza Gbefwi, the Chairman of the House Committee on Solid Minerals, assured the ministers of the National Assembly’s support in achieving the objective of combating illegal mining.

“We have two major bills in the house which have scaled second reading, one of which is to establish a mines inspectorate to increase the workforce to ensure the goals of ensuring security is achieved.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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