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Solid Minerals, Interior Ministries collaborate to tackle insecurity, illegal mining in Nigeria –Minister

Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development (r), Stresses a Point During the Visit of Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior to the Former's Office, in Abuja, FCT Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, stresses the strategic importance of synergy between his Ministry and Federal Ministry of Interior to set up a joint taskforce to address extant security challenges plaguing the mining sector of the Nigerian economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has stressed  that synergy with the Federal Ministry of Interior Ministry is crucial to the development of the former in line with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development stated this while welcoming Hon. Olubunmi Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior, to his  office, in Abuja, FCT, recently.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Alake lauded his counterpart for his giant strides in repositioning the Interior Ministry since his assumption of office.

The Minister also emphasised the need for collaboration between the two Government Ministries to address the concerns of insecurity plaguing the mining sector.

He explained: “If we are to achieve our aim of developing solid minerals in the country, we have to address the challenges of insecurity, the menace of illegal miners and the activities of immigrants that are not properly documented but mining our resources and illegally carting away funds that should accrue to our nation. We can not achieve this without synergy with the Interior Ministry.”

The Minister for Solid Minerals Development also buttressed the need to overhaul the security architecture to effectively secure mining sites and its value chain in the West African country.

Restating the commitment of President Tinubu in that regard, Alake urged Hon. Ojo to join hands with him to make this a reality.

The Minister as well told  Tunji-Ojo about his earlier engagement with the National Security Adviser (NSA) on the need for improved intelligence gathering as part of efforts to effectively protect mineral resources  and assets of prospective investors.

Speaking during the visit to Alake’s office, Hon. Tunji-Ojo commended his host for his efforts at laying a solid foundation for solid minerals development in the country.

The Minister for Interior assured him of his commitment to partnership with the ministry to address issues relating to insecurity and illegal mining by undocumented immigrants.

He stated: “Solid minerals have the potential to be Nigeria’s number one Foreign Exchange (Forex) earner with the preponderance of minerals in commercially viable quantities across our nation.

“The quality of our gold, limestone amongst others is incomparable with others elsewhere.”

Tunji-Ojo also asserted: “Therefore, we must come together to address the issues you have raised.

“The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) is supposed to be the protector of solid minerals as it comes within its purview of protecting national assets, but seems we have to go a step further to establish mine rangers that will be specifically empowered to secure mines and their assets.”

The Minister noted: “So, going forward, I think we should set up a joint team comprising officials of the Interior and Solid Minerals Development Ministry to work out modalities for collaboration on immigration issues and ensure proper security of the mining sector.

“We are ready to make solid minerals the highest revenue earner for the country in line with the Tinubu administration agenda of diversification of the economy.”

Alake thus, expressed gratitude to the Tunji-Ojo for indicating interest in collaborating with his Ministry.

With the partnership, he stated, Solid Minerals sector is poised to rival crude oil in revenue generation in Nigeria.

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