By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has lamented the harm done to the country via the activities of illegal mineral miners whom it cautioned their activities which it says posses dangers to them and the environment.

FG laments loss of revenue to illegal mineral mining activities

 By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has lamented the harm done to the country via the activities of illegal mineral miners whom it cautioned their activities which it says posses dangers to them and the environment.

 

Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development, Abubakar Bwari also used the opportunity to lament continued the loss of revenue by the States and FG as the miners sell off their precious finds without recourse to due process.

 

An official of the ministry, Ambrose Momoh disclosed this in a press release made available to newsmen on Wednesday wherein he quoted Bwari as making the statement during his visit to an illegal mining site for Sapphire located on the Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State.

 

Momoh wrote that “He (Bwari) noted that a community of about 5000 persons had already formed in the affected area where Sapphire is found, some five kilometers away from the town of Ngorojie in Sadauna Local Government Area of the State.

 

“Interacting with dozens of men, women and children who were seen on arrival digging and wading through water in search of the gem stones, Hon. Bawa Bwari assured them that government was interested in formally organizing them into legal bodies that could benefit from targeted interventions.

 

“Prompted by the Minister’s promise that the miners could be assisted to transit from their illegal status to legitimate title owners if they cooperated with government on the matter, the leader of the local miners association, Mohammed Tsep, told the minister that they were willing to comply with regulations under which they could access loans as an organized body.

 

“He stated that the emergence of the community since 2014 had led to reduction in crime rate among the population most of whom he said could now afford to raise money to send their children to school.

 

“During an earlier courtesy visit to the Governor of Taraba State, Arch. Darius Dickson Isiaku, the Minister stated that his visit was in accordance with the Presidential directives to the Ministry to emerge as a major revenue earner and job creator with the additional task of ensuring safety of miners and the environment.

 

“Governor Isiaku decried the situation whereby foreigners with only prospecting licenses come into the State kitted in mining gear fully automated to process and bag from site without recourse and giving back to the community or the State.

 

“He advocated a system that would allow the Federal and State governments to have their share of the revenue and leave the people and community with some benefits from such mining activities.” 

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