Illegal Diversion of Explosives: FG Exonerates, Recalls Mine Officers

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Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday said none of the Federal Mines Officers recalled last week had been found culpable over the reported illegal diversion of explosives which led to the arrest of some individuals.

Fayemi disclosed this during a meeting with the 37 newly deployed Federal Mines Officers in his office yesterday even as he assured them that they would be adequately equipped for the assignment.

According to a statement made available to the media, “The search light of the ministry, the law enforcement agencies and other accountability institutions will be beamed on you and you can rest assured that any officer found to have sabotaged the country in any form shall be summarily dealt with.”

The Minister said henceforth, recommendations on application for explosives from the North-east, North-central, South-south and South-east zones should be addressed to his office.

“Henceforth, all companies- mining and quarrying- operating in your various jurisdictions should always forward a copy of the monthly explosives and quarry returns to the corporate headquarters first week following the month for which return is made.

He stated: “An often neglected aspect of your job is the need to ensure that all monthly explosives return and quarries return submitted by the operators are checked and confirmed that such returns provide answers to the question contained there-in.”

He stressed that on the plan being made by the ministry to ensure effective service delivery, the ministry has partnered other crucial government agencies including the Ministries of Environment, Health, Interior, and all security agencies, host state governments, traditional institutions and community leaders, to ensure security and environmental safety.

The minister urged the newly deployed Federal Mines Officers to pay maximum attention to matters relating to the procurement, transportation, storage and use of explosives in their respective states, stressing that they would be held responsible for any diversion of explosives to unauthorised persons.

He also revealed that government would soon inaugurate and deploy about 20,000 Mining Surveillance Officers to strengthen regulatory operations across the country and tasked them on the need to ensure that all payments to the federal government on services provided by the ministry are made to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
He, however, said there was need for the new officers to be extra vigilant because of the sensitive nature of their job.