By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Muâ€™azu, has appealed to the members of the Special Mines Surveillance Taskforce (SMSTF) on illegal mining drawn from the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the zonal mines officers in the states to avoid the temptation of compromising the objectives of the assignment given to them by conniving with illegal miners or cover up.
Muâ€™azu, in a statement by the ministryÂ WednesdayÂ in Abuja, made the appeal at the opening session of the second phase of training of members of the SMSTF organised by the ministry in Jos, Pleateau State.
The training, he hinted, is structured in three phases and the first phase was held in January this year.
Muâ€™azu, in his address at the opening session, stated that the training was aimed at enlightening and educating the taskforce on what constitutes illegal mining as contained in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, its ancillary Regulations 2011, Explosives of 1964 and Regulations of 1967 respectively.
Speaking through his representative, the Director of Mines Inspectorate, Mr Karnap Wuyep, the permanent secretary stated that the taskforce was established in 2012 with membership drawn from relevant ministries and security agencies.
According to him, “The taskforce is charged with the responsibility of curbing illegal mining, reducing environmental degradation and plugging of revenue leakages amongst others. It is structured into short, medium and long term targets to achieve its mandate and one of the medium term targets is the training of the taskforce on relevant aspects of mining particularly mining legislations and mineral identification.”