BY FRANCIS KADIRI, ABUJA.
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake and his defence counterpart, Abubakar Badaru, are putting finishing touches to plans to secure mining areas in the country.
A statement, signed by Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, said for the second time in less than three weeks, Badaru came calling at the minister’s office on Thursday, where they headed straight into a closed door meeting.
Emerging from the meeting, Badaru stated that the parley is in furtherance of collaboration to secure mining sites, across the country, reiterating the resolve of the President Bola Tinubu administration to wipe out the activities of illegal miners and attendant banditry associated with it,
“The country needs to make huge revenue from mining, but insecurity is bedevilling the industry. That s why the minister is pushing so hard for us to provide serious protection around the mining areas. That is why we discuss always to see how we can protect the mining environment, bring lasting peace to the country, so that mining will flourish and the country will earn the much needed foreign exchangefrom the sector”, the Defence Minister added.
Responding to enquiries about the proposed new security architecture, the Defence Minister restated that plans are underway for clearance operations at flash points as a prelude to the deployment of the specialised mining police.
On timelines for clearance operations, Badaru revealed that preparations have reached an advanced stage, citing collaboration with the solid minerals ministry to get the data of all mining sites in the country to enable coordinated security operations.
In his remarks, Dr. Alake read the riot act, for the umpteenth time, to illegal miners and their sponsors, declaring that their days are numbered, as the Federal government is committed to bringing the full weight of the law to bear on those that do not desist from these nefarious activities.