The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has clarified misconceptions on the proposed mining ban, saying that it is targeted at illegal mining with the aim of securing the country.
In a statement, made available to THE TRUTH, the ministry explained that the ban is part of effort to curb terrorism and ensure “stability and security in the country.”
The statement, which was signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Etore Efiom Thomas, noted that mining issues fall under the control of the Federal Government.
Kindly read the full statement below:
FG’S PROPOSED BANNING OF MOTORCYCLES AND MINING ACTIVITIES
1. The attention of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MMSD has been drawn to media reports on the Federal Government’s proposed ban on motorcycles and mining activities in various Mining sites as part of its effort towards curbing terrorism and ensuring stability and security in the country.
2. For purposes of clarity, mineral resources remain on the Exclusive Legislative list as enshrined in the 1999 constitution (as amended). Section 44 (3) states, “The entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria shall vest in the government of the federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly”
Likewise, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 is very clear on issue of minerals ownership and exploitation – Section 1(1) “The entire property in and control of all Mineral Resources in, under or upon any land in Nigeria, its contiguous continental shelf and all rivers, streams and water courses throughout Nigeria, any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone is and shall be vested in the Government of the Federation for and on behalf of the people of Nigeria”.
3. It is in line with this, that the Ministry which is saddled with the responsibility of advising government on the formulation and execution of laws and regulations guiding Mining, among other duties has deemed it necessary to clarify that the measures being considered by the Security Council, are targeted to cut – off sources of funding and logistics, which terrorists have leveraged on, to execute their nefarious activities, although government is yet to take decision on the matter.
To this end, the Ministry wishes to inform the public that for the safety and security of the country, efforts are being intensified against illegal mining activities across the country as this has been established to have connections with banditry and kidnapping. The additional measure that may be taken is therefore targeted at the activities of illegal miners and not legitimate operators in the sector.
The Ministry therefore advises duly registered Miners to continue with their operations, while adhering to safe mining protocols and ensuring that security is given priority in their various sites.
Etore Efiom Thomas
Director, (Press and Public Relations)
Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
July 22nd, 2022.