Abuja, Nigeria: In a significant move to combat the escalating issue of illegal mining in Nigeria, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has announced the establishment of a new security outfit.
The initiative aims to address the involvement of influential individuals in illegal mining activities, linking them to broader security challenges such as banditry and terrorism in the country.
In an exclusive interview, Minister Alake emphasized the necessity of the security outfit due to the influential individuals orchestrating illegal mining operations.
He disclosed that the government, recognizing the severe implications of these activities, is poised to take decisive action against the perpetrators.
The minister acknowledged the difficulty of directly naming and shaming the individuals involved in illegal mining, citing potential legal repercussions.
“But these people behind illegal mining are certainly powerful individuals,” he asserted, pointing to reports of private jets and helicopters being utilized to smuggle valuable minerals out of Nigeria.
Alake echoed concerns raised by President Bola Tinubu at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Tinubu highlighted the collaboration between foreign entities and local criminals in the illegal extraction of gold and other resources, diverting billions of dollars away from national development and contributing to the rise of violent enterprises.
“Insecurity for Northern Nigeria is largely driven by illegal mining,” Alake affirmed, explaining the modus operandi of these criminal elites.
They allegedly supply weapons to local criminals, who then invade communities, instigate violence, and take advantage of the chaos to engage in illegal mining activities.
To address this multifaceted issue, Minister Alake revealed that his ministry has collaborated with interior and defence ministries to establish a specialized security outfit.
The primary mandate of this unit will be to tackle illegal mining, apprehend those responsible, and bring them to justice. Alake assured that this new security initiative’s details would be officially announced soon.
Additionally, the government is set to leverage modern technology and artificial intelligence to monitor illegal mining activities.
Minister Alake expressed confidence in the effectiveness of these technological interventions, stating, “Even as I sit here from my office, I will be able to see everything that is happening at mining sites across Nigeria.”
This proactive approach signifies a commitment to real-time monitoring and intervention to curb illicit mining operations.
As Nigeria takes these steps to combat illegal mining, the announcement underscores the government’s recognition of the issue’s far-reaching consequences.
By addressing the root causes and deploying a dedicated security apparatus, the authorities aim to not only safeguard valuable natural resources but also mitigate the broader security threats emanating from these secret activities.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members