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Insecurity: Association seeks review of mining policy for foreigners

The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called for the review of 100 per cent mining assets ownership policy accorded to foreign nationals to curtail insecurity in the country.

Alhaji Musa Muhammad, Acting National President of the association made the call while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Muhammad said it became imperative for the Federal Government to review the policy as the policy had given the foreigners indiscriminate access to mining locations across the county.

 He said that the policy should be reviewed in the interest of national security.

He said that under the recent Executive Order, foreign nationals should be prevented from entering mining sites during this period of national security emergency.

“Association is aware of the various statutes regulating the incorporation of companies in the country, neither are we ignorant of the possibility of existing bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements that may be binding on Nigeria.

“But the presence of these foreigners, especially those of the Asian and European extractions is a major attraction for kidnappers into the mining sites.

“The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development should review this policy and encourage partnership with indigenous operators who will oversee and manage the investments of their foreign partners,” he said.

He said that major challenges facing the sector were lack of  enforcement capacities in terms of human, logistics and infrastructure to actualise the dreams, aspirations, and sectoral expectations envisioned in the various statutory, regulatory and policy documents.

“The vision of the Association is to positively engage the government to provide enabling environment for mining activities to thrive, while her mission statement is to move mining activities to greater heights,” he added.

He said that the banning of mining activities in Zamfara and Katsina States had only succeeded in getting the legitimate operators out of their concessions and providing hideouts for criminals.

“The ban on mining activities in Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States should be reversed so that licensed mine owners can relocate to their mines and team with our security agencies to combat the bandits feasting on their legitimate concessions,” he said.

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