Business is booming.

Police arrest 109 suspects as illegal mining thrives in Nasarawa

By George George Idowu

A joint operation by the Anti-kidnapping Unit and local vigilantes led to the arrest of 109 illegal miners in the Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area, the Nasarawa State Police Command announced on Tuesday.

The Commissioner of Police, Umar Nadada, said the operation was part of the efforts to curb kidnapping and other criminal activities in the area.

He said the suspects were found mining solid minerals such as Topaz, Tin, and Aquamarine without proper authorization. He also said the police recovered a Dane gun, cutlasses, and some of the mined minerals from the suspects.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Yakubu Kwanta, who witnessed the parading of the suspects, praised the police for their work and warned illegal miners to stop their unlawful practices.

He said illegal mining poses a threat to the environment and the security of the state. He advised the miners to join cooperative societies and register with the relevant authorities to operate legally.

He also called for more collaboration between the police and other government agencies to tackle the problem of illegal mining.

In a related development, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Ekong Sampson, expressed his worry over the connection between illegal mining and the security challenges facing the country.

He said the committee would conduct a thorough investigation and review of the mining sector to ensure the protection and proper utilization of Nigeria’s mineral resources.

He recalled that the Senate had earlier directed the committee to look into the reasons for the low revenue generation from solid minerals and the extent of illegal mining activities by both local and foreign actors.

He said the committee’s goal was to improve the regulation and governance of the solid minerals sector for the benefit of the nation.

 

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