Niger Arrests 30 for Illegal Mining

Laleye Dipo in Minna

Officials of the Ministry of Mineral Resources yesterday  carried out a raid of illegal mining sites in the Maitumbi area of Minna  the Niger State Capital during  which 30 people were arrested.

Among those arrested were 12 men among whom eight  were under aged and 18 women  seven of whom were also under aged.

Several equipment used for illegal mining were also seized from those arrested.  The leader of the team and Director of Mining in the Ministry, Alhaji Adamu Garba, said the surprise raid on the illegal mining site followed the refusal of the  miners to vacate the site. 

Alhaji  Garba emphasised the determination of the ministry to combat illegal mining throughout the state because the activities of illegal miners  pose a serious threat to the environment apart from the hazards those involved are exposed to. 

“This arrest send a strong message to those involved in exploiting Nigeria’s natural resources unlawfully, particularly concerning the use of underage labour,” he said adding that “The Ministry of Mineral Resources has emphasised its commitment to clamp down on illegal mining operations and protect the welfare of Niger State citizens, especially children, involved in such illicit activities.

“It is hoped that this operation will act as a deterrent for others engaged in similar activities and encourage the mining industry to adhere to proper regulations and procedures.”

 Garba said the ministry   will continue in its efforts to ensure sustainable and responsible mining practices throughout the country, safeguarding Niger State’s valuable resources for future generations.”

Those arrested were first taken to the state office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps before being transferred to the GRA Police station from where they will be charged to court.

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