Powerful Nigerians involved in illegal mining and sponsorship of banditry - Alake

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake has said that illegal mining and banditry are being sponsored by some powerful Nigerians. 

Appearing before the House Committee on Solid Minerals to defend the Ministry’s 2024 budget estimate, Alake said powerful Nigerians are behind the insecurity in areas of the country with solid mineral deposits.

He also said the government was identifying those individuals and will take appropriate action against them as part of efforts to ensure that the areas are secured for investors who have shown interest in investing in the solid minerals sector in the country.

Alake said; 

“One discovery that we have made is that a lot of these insecurities and banditry associated with this sector are sponsored by illegal miners.

“These are not your artisan miners. They are not the people who pick gold on the ground. These are heavy and powerful individuals in our country. They are Nigerians and not foreigners.

“Yes, you can see foreigners as symptoms, but they are not the basics. Nigerians are the powers behind those foreigners that you see on the streets. We are identifying them and employing various strategies, both kinetic and non-kinetic.

“The non-kinetic with that artisan miners, I gave them an ultimatum that they should form themselves into cooperatives because every Nigerian has a right to life and necessities and if the government cannot provide these necessities, we cannot push them into the bush.”

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