On Saturday, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development allayed the concerns of registered miners across the nation regarding the Federal Government’s proposed ban on mining activities to reduce insecurity.
It was made clear that the natural resources remain on the Exclusive Legislative list as stipulated in the 1999 constitution in a statement issued by the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Etore Thomas (as amended).Section 44(3) states, “The entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria shall vest in the government of the federation and shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly”.
The statement also maintained that the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 is very clear on issue of minerals ownership and exploitation – Section 1(1) “The entire property in and control of all Mineral Resources in, under or upon any land in Nigeria, its contiguous continental shelf and all rivers, streams and water courses throughout Nigeria, any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone is and shall be vested in the Government of the Federation for and on behalf of the people of Nigeria”.
The statement reads in part, “It is in line with this, that the Ministry which is saddled with the responsibility of advising government on the formulation and execution of laws and regulations guiding Mining, among other duties has deemed it necessary to clarify that the measures being considered by the Security Council, are targeted to cut – off sources of funding and logistics, which terrorists have leveraged on to execute their nefarious activities, although government is yet to take decision on the matter.
“To this end, the Ministry wishes to inform the public that for the safety and security of the country, efforts are being intensified against illegal mining activities across the country as this has been established to have connections with banditry and kidnapping.
“The additional measures that may be taken is therefore targeted at the activities of illegal miners and not legitimate operators in the Sector.
“The Ministry therefore advises duly registered Miners to continue with their operations, while adhering to safe mining protocols and ensuring that security is given priority in their various sites.”
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