Legal Nigeria

Kogi clamps down on illegal miners: Arrests 10, confiscates 50 trucks

As part of efforts to sanitise the mining industry and implement its economic blueprint, the Kogi State Government has arrested 10 miners operating illegally in Ankpa Local Government Area of the State.

Commissioner for Solid Minerals and Natural Resources, Hon. Bashiru Gegu disclosed this on Monday evening in Ankpa when his ministry in collaboration with the Kogi State Special Task Force on illegal smuggling of firearms and other related crimes began the enforcement of Governor Yahaya Bello’s directive to illegal mining across the State.

Gegu, who noted that ‘operation stop illegal mining in Kogi State’ is on course said the Government has confiscated over 50 trucks carrying coal illegally mined in the state with the support of the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Department of State Services, (DSS), and local vigilantes.

Gegu said, “We must implement the Federal Government policy and help in revenue generation. Over the years, we have asked miners in the state approved by the federal government to register with the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Natural Resources. This has, however, fallen on deaf ears with people brazenly destroying our communities. Illegal mining is prohibited in Kogi State”.

The Commissioner warned all illegal mining companies and individuals to stop forthwith, as the long hands of the law are set to catch up with them.

He reassured that anyone who is found wanting would be prosecuted.

Also speaking, the Director General of Kogi State Special Task Force on illegal smuggling of firearms and other related crimes, Elder Friday Sani Makama said it will no longer be business as usual, adding that, the present administration will leave no stone unturned in arresting and prosecuting any individual caught engaging in illegal mining in Kogi State.

“Some set of individuals are milking the State of its natural resources. That is why Governor Yahaya Bello, who wants the best for the People of Kogi State, said it was time to put a stop to illegal mining in Kogi.

”Our operation here is very simple. All miners in Kogi State must operate within the ambit of the law. My duty is to ensure the enforcement of the directive given by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State,” he added.

Our correspondent reports that Kogi is home to about 27 solid minerals in commercial quantity, most of which lie fallow and untapped beneath the surface.