Nigeria: Authorities in Niger state warn against illegal mining
By Mohammad Ibrahim
( Kaduna) Niger State governor, Alhaji (Dr.) Abubakar Sani Bello has warned against illegal mining in the state and advised operators to desist from further plundering of the environment.
The governor expressed concern over the illegal mining in Shikira village in Kagara Emirate Council where many lives mostly minors were lost recently to Lead poison from illegal mining of gold by the locals and warned that the people of the area should stop forthwith.
In a statement signed by Jibrin Baba Ndace Chief Press Secretary to the governor made available to newsmen said the governor spoke at the weekend at the palace of Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Saliu Tanko in Kagara Rafi Local Governmentarea of the state.According to him, it is high time the people desist from engaging in illegal mining because of its devastating effect on their health, environment and economy.
"The irony of this activity is that our people are being exploited, abused and at the end many lives are put on the line due to health hazards associated with mining and at the long run our human capital is being depleted and our environment exposed to danger.
"Our people must stop this killing. Government will not close its eyes for her citizens to engage in self destructive venture or fold herarms to activities that are inimical to the health and well being of her people".
Governor Sani Bello said efforts are on to standardise mining activities in the state in collaboration with the Federal government so thatminers and environment are protected and proceed from exploitation are well coordinated."The exploitation of our people is unacceptable.
They are not only exposing the whole community to danger, they are been paidpittance. That is why we are appealing to our people to exercise patience for government to fine tune operation in the sector. "He called on stakeholders within and outside the state to join hands with the administration towards ending illegal mining in thestate.
" We want stakeholders to join hands with us in combating this menace. Community leaders must intensify sensitization on thenegative impact of illegal mining on the people and environment.
"Meanwhile, state government has up-graded Kagara General Hospital with facilities to handle the treatment of Lead poison relatedinfection in the area.
Recently, Federal government of Nigeria expressed concerned over activities of illegal miners in the country with president Muhammadu Buhari vowing to address the problem.