Alhaji Bello Matawalle, Governor of Zamfara State

Nigeria deports 11 Chinese nationals, others for illegal mining in Zamfara: Governor

*Porous nature of borders around Zamfara State makes it possible for all manner of elements to gain access to the gold mines, says Governor Bello Matawalle

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For exploring and exploiting Nigeria’s mineral resources unlawfully, the Federal Government has deported over 30 illegal miners, including 11 Chinese, said to have been involved in illicit gold mining in Zamfara State.

Alhaji Bello Matawalle, Governor of Zamfara State, announced this to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT, Friday, October 23.

The governor, who disclosed that he visited President Buhari to brief him on security developments in his state, said that the porous nature of borders around it made it possible for all manner of elements to gain access to the mines.

A mining site in Zamfara State

He said: “I informed him about some illegal mining activities that are taking place in Zamfara State, which Mr. President promised to have directed the National Security Adviser, may be to form a committee, a task force on illegal mining, which can go round the state and fish out the activities of these illegal miners.”

Matawalle, stated that most of the illegal miners in the state are foreigners.

According to him, the President had given needed instructions to the appropriate quarters where security reinforcement would be effected.

The governor also stressed Zamfara State would be willing to receive as much more of security presence as it could get from the Federal Government in this regard.

He said the recent disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has made the situation a bit more difficult in recent times, citing the killing of about 20 persons in Talata/Mafara Council Area Thursday, October 22 as part of the side effects of the disbandment of the Police unit for his state.

Matawalle, on illegal mining by foreigners in the state, said “as you are aware, most of these illegal miners are not Nigerians.

“But with the support of the Army, Police, and other security agencies in the state, some of them were apprehended and repatriated to their respective countries.

“We have deported 11 Chinese and over 20 from Burkina Faso and Mali. You know we have the problem of a very porous border particularly from Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger Republic.”

He added that “people used to cross freely but with the measures that have been taken by Nigeria Immigration Services.

“I know they have put some measures in this border to checkmate the movement of other nationals into Nigeria.

“Still on the gold mine, what we are doing now with the task force that will be put in place to check illegal miners.

“I think the central government needs to do something and put measures in place to harness these untapped mineral resources in the state.

“As you are aware, the Ministry of Solid Minerals (Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) is working hard with genuine workable document that will benefit both the state and federal government.”

Kindly Share This Story