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Economy: Alake inaugurates Mines Marshals to secure minerals sites across Nigeria

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Inaugurating the New Mines Marshals in Abuja, FCT Photos: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Nigeria’s Minister for Solid Minerals Development, charges the newly-inaugurated Marshals to smoke out illegal miners at minerals sites across the West African country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In fulfilment of a major plank of his seven-point agenda to create “a new security architecture” to secure mining sites, Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, has unveiled a 2, 200-strong Mines Marshals to smoke out illegal miners and all those who flout mining laws in Nigeria.

Formally receiving the Marshals drawn from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) from Abubakar Audi, Commandant-General of NSCDC, representing Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior, Dr. Alake Thursday, March 21, 2024, charged the new operatives to curb theft and all nefarious activities around the country’s mineral resources so that the country can reap maximum benefits from its God-given resources.

L-R: Muhammad Suleiman, mni, Director of Human Resources, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development (middle); Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, OFR, mni, Commandant-General of NSCDC, at the Launching and Formal Handing Over of the Mines Marshals to the Ministry to Secure the Mining Environment, in Abuja, FCT  

Segun Tomori, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, in a statement Thursday disclosed CSC Attah John Onoja, Commander, Chief Superintendent of Corps, leads the new Mines Marshals.

It is recalled that as a result of the efforts of the presidential Inter-ministerial committee on securing natural resources, chaired by Dr. Alake, the Hon. Ojo, a few weeks ago launched the NSCDC-led mines Marshals, which represents the first layer of the new security architecture to secure the mining environment.

With a command structure spread across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, the mines Marshals will have their command and control domiciled in the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development (MSMD), with the 60 initial operatives deployed in each state and the FCT.

Highlighting the role played by his interior counterpart in the evolution of the new security outfit, Dr. Alake commended the Minister for Interior for putting words into actions and working tirelessly with the Solid Minerals Ministry to achieve the feat.

Alake further stated: “Today’s event of unveiling and formally handing over the specially trained and selected civil defence structure to engage illegal miners and sanitise our mining environment was also part of what we conceived at the inter-ministerial committee chaired by me.

“I am very happy to let the public know that from the outset we said are going to tackle insecurity in the mining sector and the first batch of the security apparati is what we are launching today.”

The mines marshal devised to be an inter-agency security outfit will incorporate special operatives from other security agencies like the Nigeria Police, army, amongst others. Its operations will largely be technologically driven.

Corps ready to protect national assets, infrastructure in solid minerals sector: NSCDC Chief

In his remarks, Abubakar Audi, Commandant-General of NSCDC, stated that the new mines Marshals would give verve to the Corps’ mandate of protecting national assets and infrastructure in which solid minerals is a major component.

He also revealed that the Marshals would liaise with mine inspectorate in states to garner intelligence and take directives from the Ministry for effective execution of its mandate.

“We have a list of illegal miners across the nation, and we will go after them. Their days are now numbered, “Audi declared.

Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals, at the event expressed satisfaction with the new security outfit.

Gbefwi noted that with improved security around mining areas, Nigeria’s economic fortunes is bound for a forward leap.

The House Committee Chairman said: “When the Minister reeled out his 7-point agenda during his inaugural address, which included the Mines Police, not a few people were sceptical about it.

“But today, he has matched words with action. On behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I doff my hat for him and say, ‘Well done.’

“You can be rest assured of the continued support and cooperation of the House of Reps and, by extension, the National Assembly.”

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