Niger Raids Illegal Mining Sites, Arrests Seven Miners, Women in Minna

Laleye Dipo in Minna

Officials of the Niger State Ministry of Mineral Resources have  raided several illegal mining sites in Minna the state capital during which seven male illegal miners and “ several women” were arrested.

The seven men apprehended  were handed over to the police for prosecution while the women were released  “considering their vulnerability especially those who were nursing mothers or elderly.”

Information Officer of the Ministry Mrs. Maureen Debbie, said in a statement made available to newsmen, that several equipment used for illegal mining were also seized from the illegal miners.

She disclosed that it was discovered that  “majority of these miners hailed from Sokoto and other states”, adding that  “only a few were locals.”

“This underscores the need for stringent measures to be taken to prevent outsiders from exploiting the region’s mineral resources illegally, which can have detrimental effects on the environment and the local economy,” she said in the statement.

She submitted that the “Ministry  with the support of the state authorities, remains determined to uphold the law and clamp down on illegal mining operations in Niger State by targeting these illegal activities.”

“The government aims to protect both the natural resources and the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods,” she declared.

Before the collapse of two mining pits in communities in Shiroro and Paikoro local governments of the state during which some lives were lost and 14 miners still trapped, the state Governor Alhaji  Mohammed Umaru Bago had placed a ban on mining in all parts of the state.

Despite the ban illegal and official mining has continued across the state.

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