President Muhammadu Buhari reveals that criminal elements have hijacked the mining industry under his administration.
Buhari made this revelation while giving an opening speech at the 56th annual international conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciencies Society which was held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The conference was themed; ‘Responsible exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in a secured environment.
The president’s address was read by Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel.
Since most mining activities were taking place in remote places, the President said it was easy for criminals to infiltrate the mining industry.
According to the president, money made from the industry are being used to fund criminal activities affecting the economy of the country and the security.
The President said, “The reality of this truth is most obvious in the minerals sector given the fact that mining activities take place in remote localities. Our intelligence gathering efforts have confirmed that most of these criminal elements have infiltrated the mining industry and are using it as means of funding their despicable activities.
“It is with this understanding that we recently took the painful but necessary decision of banning all forms of mining activities in Zamfara State, where armed banditry has persisted.
“It is also to this end that I directed the ministers of Mines and Steel Development to strengthen collaboration with state governments and relevant security agencies to ensure the security and safety of all mining areas. In so doing, we can achieve sustainable development of the minerals sector for the peace and security of our great country and good people.
“It is in furtherance of our commitment and resolve to address the security challenges that I recently charged the newly-decorated service chiefs that they have just a few weeks to crush all forms of criminality in the country. We cannot yield the sovereignty of our nation to a bunch of individuals, who have refused to see reasons to abandon their criminality.
“The security chiefs have been mandated to forcefully bring this criminality to an immediate end. Let me reiterate that the government is more than capable and more than ever determined to halt all forms of criminality perpetuated by these individuals.”
Buhari restated the commitment of his regime to diversifying Nigeria’s economy using mining and agriculture sectors as viable option.
The presdent re-instate the commitment of his administration to diversying Nigeria’s economy with mining and agriculture sectors as possible sectors.