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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Ministry advises registered miners to continue mining operations 

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The ministry of mines and steel development has advised registered miners to continue with their mining operations, while adhering to safe mining protocols.

Etore Thomas, director, press and public relations of the ministry, gave the advisory in a statement on Saturday.

The federal government had said it was considering a nationwide ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, as well as mining activities in a bid to stem the rising insecurity across the country.

However, in the statement, the ministry said legitimate miners should put adequate security in their various mining sites while conducting their operations, noting that the ban targets only illegal miners.

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The new directive comes shortly after experts asked the government to reconsider its decision, stating that the ban would be detrimental to local and foreign investors.

“It’s necessary to clarify that the measures being considered by the security council are targeted to cut off sources of funding and logistics, which terrorists have leveraged on to execute their nefarious activities,” the statement reads.

“Although, [the] government is yet to take a decision on the ban of mining across the country.

“The ministry wishes to inform the public that efforts are being intensified against illegal mining activities across the country, as this has been established to have connections with banditry and kidnapping.

“The additional measures that may be taken is (sic), therefore, targeted at the activities of illegal miners and not legitimate operators in the sector,” says the ministry.”

According to the statement, the ministry said it is saddled with the responsibility of advising the federal government on the formulation and execution of laws and regulations guiding mining, among other duties.

The ministry also said that for purposes of clarity, mineral resources remained on the exclusive legislative list as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“Section 44 (3) states: The entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Federal Government,” the statement further reads.

“The mineral shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the national assembly; likewise, the Nigerian minerals and mining act of 2007 is very clear on the issue of minerals ownership and exploitation.”

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