Nasarawa govt promises tough sanctions on illegal miners

Yakubu Kwanta

The Nasarawa state government has vowed to put an end to illegal mining activities of any king in the State, asserting that those found culpable will be dealt with decisively in line with the law.

The commissioner of environment and natural resources, Mr. Yakubu Kwanta gave the indication on Wednesday in Lafia, following a claim by a mining entity against the Nasarawa State Government.
He said,
“The attention of the Nasarawa State Government is drawn to a press conference on Friday last week in Jos by one Mr. Tim Eldon of Trimadix Geomin Consult Limited accusing the Nasarawa
State Government of undue interference in their mining operations in the State, particularly, in Kokona Local Government.

“You would recall that on the 19th of April, 2024, which is exactly two months today, the Nasarawa State Government took a bold step to secure the Amba Community
from the activities of illegal miners that has become a threat to the peace and security of the community and its environs.

Mr. Kwanta stated that the action followed a petition from the community chief on illegal minning activities in his domain without a proper clearance

The commissioner however noted that there is an existing
Executive Order No. 02 of 2022 which was signed into Law by governor Abdullahi Sule, which particularly, provides that “all community consent and development agreement made pursuant to Section 116
of the Mineral and Mining Act, 2007 and prior to signing by authenticated community heads shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice through the Ministry of Environment and natural resources to be vetted and certified by the Attorney
General of Nasarawa State”.

Mr Kwanta cautioned all intending or illegal miners in the state to ensure they obey the Executive Order which provides that all mining entities arriving the State with authority of the Federal Government to carry out mining in the State must undergo
checks by the Ministry responsible for environment and mining and other security agencies in the State to verify their legal status, citizenship and background before settlement.

He also noted that the ministry under his supervision has carried out series of robust engagements and mass sensitisation to bring to the knowledge of stakeholders in the mining sector operating in the state of the regulatory provisions of the Executive Order No. 02 of 2022 to promote security and safeguard the environment.

While reinstating the commitment of the state government promoting
investment opportunities and the growth of businesses for economic development and poverty reduction, He warned that Government would not compromise its determination to rid the State of illegal mining activities that put the life of the people and the safety of communities in danger.

“We are committed to the full
enforcement of the Executive Order to ensure that our State is safe and communities are protected from exploitation by mining entities.

The commissioner however said that “the so-called mining entity claiming to be licenced to carry out mining activities in Amba community is not known to the Nasarawa State Government according to the provisions of the Executive Order No. 02 of 2022.

He vowed that the mining site remains closed and secured until responsible investors who are trusted by the community and the State, through a proper consenting, are licenced to mine in the area.
“The Nasarawa State Government will continue to watch closely any further development in that mining site, as well as any other place with similar occurrence that is against the interest of peace in the
State and deal decisively with any violator

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