Illegal Mining and Funding Banditry in Nigeria

Illegal Mining and Funding Banditry in Nigeria

The Link Between Illegal Mining and Criminal Activities

The Minister of Solid Mineral, Mr Dele Alake, recently revealed that powerful Nigerians involved in illegal mining are not only responsible for other criminal activities but also sponsor banditry and terrorism in the country.

The Role of Illegal Miners

According to Alake, many cases of banditry and terrorism are sponsored by illegal miners. These illegal miners are not ordinary people picking gold from the ground, but influential individuals within the country.

Identifying the Culprits

Alake emphasized that the majority of illegal miners are Nigerians, with foreigners being only a small part of the problem. The government is actively working to identify these powerful individuals using various means, both kinetic and non-kinetic. Additionally, efforts are being made to encourage small-scale illegal miners to form cooperatives.

The Need for Proper Regulation

Alake highlighted the importance of having a formal structure for mining, similar to the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd, to generate the necessary revenue. However, he emphasized that the approach taken by the Ministry of Solid Mineral would be different, with a primarily private sector-driven Nigeria Mining Cooperation.

Ensuring Stability

Alake assured that the proposed structure would prevent any government from destabilizing the mining sector. Nigeria would also have its equity in the cooperation, ensuring stability and preventing interference.

The Untapped Potential of Nigeria’s Minerals

Alake revealed that Nigeria has over 700 billion dollars’ worth of minerals, but has only accessed a fraction of this wealth. He urged the committee to support the ministry’s efforts to change the mining landscape in the country.

Engaging Host Communities

Alake emphasized the importance of engaging the host communities where mining activities take place to maintain law and order. This would help prevent any breakdown in the relationship between the communities and mining companies.

The Budget Proposal and Revenue Potential

Alake pleaded with the committee to consider the budget proposed for the ministry in 2024. He stated that if given adequate funding, the ministry could contribute more revenue to the country than any other ministry, including oil.

The Potential of Solid Minerals

Alake highlighted that Nigeria has 44 minerals in high demand, with six of them being globally sought after. He believes that Nigeria has the potential to become a major player in the world economy through its solid minerals.

Budget 2024 Threatened by $76.53 Oil

The Importance of the Solid Minerals Sector

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Gaza Gbefwi, acknowledged that the solid minerals sector is crucial for Nigeria’s economic diversity. However, he expressed concern over the inadequate funds allocated to the sector in the 2024 budget.

Strengthening the Sector

Gbefwi assured that the committee is taking proactive steps to introduce motions and bills that would strengthen and reorganize the solid minerals s

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