July 15, 2024

NMGS frowns at FG’s insincerity in tackling illegal mining

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NMGS frowns at FG's insincerity in tackling illegal mining

*The President, Nigerian Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS), Prof. Shedrack Olatunji

Ini Billie, Uyo

The Nigerian Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS) has frowned against the Federal Government’s insincerity in tackling illegal mining nationwide.

President, Nigerian Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS), Prof. Shedrack Olatunji who lamented that illegal mining activities are happening across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, said the government was not intentionally stopping it.

Speaking on Friday in Uyo at the 255th Council Meeting of Nigerian Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS), Prof.  Shedrack Olatunji said the lack of qualified, well-funded, and well-regulated personnel saddled with the responsibility of monitoring mining activities was evident that the government was paying lip service to the ideas of stopping illegal mining.

He explained that the federal mines offices across the states were poorly staffed, equipped and motivated to properly monitor the work under their jurisdiction, and called for an increase in the staff strength of the inspectorate unit in the mine offices.

He advocated for the involvement of the private sector like NMGS to carry out oversight functions in collaboration with the Inspectorate unit in the mines office.

“Government must stop paying lip service to stop illegal mining. They must be able to fund their corporate office which is the mining inspectorate office to do the job and empower them.

“When anybody is now found not doing their job, you can weed the person out, but you must first provide the environment to do the job.

“As a society, we frown at illegal mining because it is denying the nation of its revenue, it is denying our people of jobs, and it is also devastating our environment.

“If illegal mining is not curtailed, you will begin to see vast wasteland, not good for any other thing. There is illegal mining going on in all parts of the country, in the 36 states of the Federation, including Abuja”, he stated.

Olatunji urged the government to commit public funds to the production of geological maps, saying the project was not cheap as it would take a lot of personnel and funds to achieve it.

He said the mining pit collapse in Niger State would have been prevented if competent mining engineers and geologists were on site, as they would have taken the necessary, safety, and precautionary measures to prevent the tragedy.

“Geological maps are the basis for virtually all development either in the environmental sector, water sector, aviation sector or even in the construction sector.

“For you to drive development, you need knowledge and knowledge acquisition is costly, that is why we are charging that appropriate funding should be provided for geological survey to do its work and even for states to collaborate with the NGSA in geoscience information gathering”, he stated.

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