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Minister Links Banditry and Terrorism in [Region] to Illegal Mining Activities

Minister Links Banditry and Terrorism in [Region] to Illegal Mining Activities.

In a startling revelation, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, accused influential individuals involved in illegal mining of funding banditry and terrorism in Nigeria.

Alake made this claim during his appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals for the 2024 budget defense in Abuja. He highlighted that many instances of banditry and terrorism are financially backed by powerful individuals connected to illegal mining activities within the country.

While addressing the committee, Alake stressed that a significant portion of the illegal mining activities are not carried out by foreigners but are instead instigated by powerful local figures. He mentioned the necessity of identifying these powerful entities through various means, both kinetic and non-kinetic.

He further mentioned encouraging petty illegal miners to form cooperatives and emphasized the need for a formal structure in the mining sector akin to the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd. Alake proposed a primarily private sector-driven structure for the Nigeria Mining Cooperation, safeguarding it from potential destabilization by future governments.

Highlighting the immense mineral wealth deposited in Nigeria, estimated to be over 700 billion dollars, Alake emphasized that the country had barely accessed a quarter of its potential. He urged the committee to support the ministry’s initiatives, suggesting that an increased budget allocation could significantly contribute to the nation’s revenue, possibly surpassing the earnings from the oil sector.

Alake emphasized the global demand for Nigeria’s minerals and the country’s potential to become a key player in the world economy through its solid mineral resources. However, he stressed the necessity of creating a more conducive operating environment for investors.

In response, Rep. Gaza Gbefwi, the chairman of the committee, acknowledged the significance of the solid minerals sector for Nigeria’s economic diversification. He expressed concerns over the inadequacy of the allocated funds for the sector in the 2024 budget and highlighted the committee’s initiatives to strengthen and reorganize the sector through proactive motions and bills.

NAN

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