Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Olamileke Adegbite, yesterday revealed that his ministry would work with security agencies to arrest and prosecute illegal miners at the mining sites in Nigeria.
According to Adegbete, illegal miners are foreigners who came to Nigeria on different purposes but venture into mining without licenses.
The minister made the disclosure at the 93rd Annual Lecture of the Government College Old Boys Association, held at the Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin Conference Hall, Gbongan, Osun State.
Adegbite stressed that his ministry is working with the immigration people to check the visa of the foreigners.
He said: “We are using the law enforcement people where they have power of coercion, the police, the civil defense, the army and Air Force to make sure that wherever we find them and we arrest them and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”
He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari as the first government that committed to diversification of economies from oil and gas sector in the history of Nigeria.
Adegbite said, “President Muhammadu Buhari is the first president singular honor to have granted the kind of funding that’s required to project the mining sector. The government gave extra budgetary allocation to the mining sector in 2017 that 30 billion naira as of that was $100 million.”
“This first time government will put huge money and it has produced some wonderful results.”
The Minister lauded the present administration of Osun State under watch of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for secured the largest number of licenses in Nigeria.
He maintained that Oyetola has done more on the mining licenses than past administration which they are looking for partners to develop.
“Sub nationals don’t participate in mining, but sub nationals can come as corporates like Osun state. Osun State Government has the largest number of licenses. I must commend this particular administration. It has done more on their licenses than past administration.
In his earlier address, the National President of the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), Dr. Olawale Babalakin, lauded the solid foundation laid by the founding fathers of the school at inception.
He noted that the gathering was here essentially to remind Nigerians about the need for “good, quality education” old students enjoyed and still enjoy till date.
“GCI is a school founded on quality, discipline and sound culture. We are here to remind Nigerians that this is the way to go.
“Special thanks the executive Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde for returning GCI to the old boys for seamless, essential transformation.
“We must create a situation where we found the brightest and the best in every facet of life and our economy. Members of GCI have been a phenomenon over the years and we are still standing.
“The financial, intellectual commitment is what has kept GCI and why it’s still standing today. There is therefore the need for others to take a cue from this,” Babalakin stated.