FG employing dual-pronged approach to address illegal mining -Alake

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, says Federal Government is employing a dual-pronged approach to combating illegal mining in the country.

Alake stated this while declaring open a two-day ministerial stepdown retreat, organised for the staff of the ministry and its parastatals on Friday in Abuja.

The theme of the retreat is ‘Delivering on the Eight Presidential Priorities.’

The retreat is geared towards ensuring that the workers performed their duties diligently in line with the eight presidential priorities of the Tinubu’s administration, particularly in unlocking energy and natural resources for sustainable development.

Alake said that the dual approach comprised both coercive and persuasive measures, being concurrently to get the desired result.

He explained that the persuasive method involved formalising artisanal and illegal miners into cooperatives, where they could attract adequate funding and be easily identified for incentives and other interventions.

‘Their business wi
ll become enhanced and they can attract funding from financial institutions.

‘They can increase their profits then government can identify with them and obtain the necessary royalties, taxes and revenue that have been lost before,’ he said.

According to the minister, within three months of the policy, no fewer than 70 cooperatives have been established.

He said that part of the coercive approach was the establishment of the Mining Marshal Corp who were recently deployed to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to secure the mining environment.

The minister said that Africa possessed more than 60 per cent of the worlds natural resources and should take advantage of the resources to develop its economy by demanding value addition for its mineral resources.

He reiterated that approval for licences would only be given to mining companies that would comply with value addition to mineral resources.

Alake pointed out that Nigeria has the critical minerals needed for the global energy transition in co
mmercial quantities but required the cooperation of its workforce to assist in marketing the products and sanitising the sector.

He said that the government was marketing its solid minerals to attract foreign direct investment, create jobs, support small and medium-sized companies, and foster sustainable economic development.

The minister said that the retreat was a period for the workers to reflect on their performance and make necessary adjustments, as productivity was key to achieving the presidential priorities areas.

He added that it was an opportunity for the workers to engage in fruitful discussions, especially towards the ministry’s seven-point agenda, shared best practices, and identifying innovative strategies to actualise the presidential priorities.

‘The importance of delivering on this priority area (energy and natural resources) cannot be over emphasised.

‘The Nigerian economy is in dire need of rapid economic growth through the solid mineral sector, given the limitless value this sector ca
n provide.

‘I believe with the efforts of everyone in this room, the Nigerian Economy can be positively catalysed,’ he said.

The minister maintained that good character and the right mental capacity were required to achieve the ministry’s seven-point agenda.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria