Friday, October 13, 2023 6:00 pm
• _Solid Minerals Development and Interior Ministry to Set Up Joint Task Team_
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake has stated that synergy with the Interior Ministry is crucial to the development of solid minerals in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration.
Speaking while welcoming the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Ojo to his office, Alake lauded his counterpart on his giant strides in repositioning the Interior ministry since his assumption of office, emphasising the need for collaboration to address the concerns of insecurity plaguing the mining sector.
“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 asserted.
Buttressing the need to overhaul the security architecture to effectively secure mining sites and its value chain, Alake restated the commitment of President Tinubu in that regard, urging Hon. Ojo to join hands with him to make this a reality. He further informed his guest of 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.
In his response, the Interior Minister commended his host for his efforts so far in laying a solid foundation for solid minerals development in the country. He assured him of his commitment to partner with the ministry to address issues relating to insecurity and illegal mining by undocumented immigrants. ”
“Solid minerals have the potential to be Nigeria’s number one foreign exchange 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. 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 its assets”
“ 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 ensuring 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”, the Minister added.
Dr. Alake expressed gratitude to the Minister for indicating interest in collaborating with his ministry, stating that with the partnership, solid minerals is poised to rival crude oil in revenue generation.