By Agatha Chitumu, Abuja


DAILY COURIER – The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has allayed the fears of legitimate operatos in the mining sector, saying the Federal Government was after illegal miners to curtail it’s activities.

The statement by Director (Press & PR), Etore Efiom Thomas dated July 22, 2022 was against the backdrop of the recent clampdown on activities by the government.

The statement made available to this medium further stated that the additional measures that may be taken was targeted at the activities of illegal miners and not legitimate operators in the Sector.

Subsequently, the Ministry has advised 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.

The statement reads further: ” 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.

“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”.

“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.”