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Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

FG to close illegal mining operation

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Illegal mining2The Minister of Mines and Steel Development says it will close any mining or quarry firm not operating in accordance with the Nigerian Minerals and Metals Act of 2007.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Marshal Gundu, the ministry’s Deputy Director Press, in Abuja. It stated that the Minister, Mr Mohammed Sada, made this known when he received the 2013 Annual Report and Audited Accounts of the Council of Nigeria Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG). The statement stated that the presentation was made by the Chairman of the council, Chief Chambers Oyibo, who led other council members to the ministry.

Sada said the plan was to ensure strict compliance to rules and any other extant mining laws like that of the COMEG. He said that over 600 mining licences were revoked by the Federal Government due to non-compliance with the relevant laws guiding mining operations in the country in the last audit exercise. The minister expressed his pleasure to receive the reports from COMEG, which he described, as a strong institution that gives strength to the nation’s extractive industries.

Sada commended the initiative of COMEG in relation to the issuance of practicing licences to its financial members as well as capacity training.

He said the present administration had seen the need for human capital development as one of the requirements of Nigeria’s extractive industries.

The minister said COMEG’s action was in line with the Transformation Agenda of Mr President.

“No matter how much mineral resources a country has, if it doesn’t have the right human skills, the country will not develop. “The country needs the right knowledge and idea for the minerals and metals sector to develop optimally,’’ he said. The COMEG Chairman, Oyibo, said the 2013 report was in compliance with the provision of COMEG Act part (11) Financial Provision, Section 7(3). Oyibo said the monitoring of mining professionals and operators in some geopolitical zones of the country was carried out to sensitise them on the need to register with COMEG.

“The exercise revealed that most mining companies have not registered with COMEG as a corporate body and do not have COMEG registered mining professionals in their employment.

 “The council had also commenced the issuance of practicing licences to financial members in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of relevant laws and regulations of COMEG,” Oyibo said. (NAN)

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