Alia suspends mining activities in Benue

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Governor Hyacinth Alia at the weekend directed the suspension of all mining activities pending a verification exercise to collect all mining data in Benue State.

Alia gave the order while inaugurating 60 ‘mining marshals’ drawn from the personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the Government House in Makurdi to curb illegal mining of solid minerals across the state.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Barr. Sam Ode said he would not tolerate any illegality in the state, stressing the need for the civil defence personnel not to relent in combating crimes.

He said the personnel are expected to collaborate with members of the Mineral Resources and Environment Management Committee (MIREMCO) to defend the interests of the people of Benue.

“I have met with members of the Miners Association and have a directive for the suspension of all mining activities in the state until miners’ data is collated. The MIREMCO would collate data of all miners in the state.

“Until the verification exercise was concluded, all mining activities would be placed on hold pending the outcome of the verification.

“I enjoined the security apparatus, the joint task force on illegal mining, MIREMCO to ensure that the right thing was done to enhance the well-being of the people and increase the internally generated revenue (IGR).

“I would not tolerate any illegality as it is my administration’s prerogative to protect lives and property of the people,” the governor said.

Earlier, the state Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Barr. Fidelis Mnyim stressed that Gov Alia was not against mining but wanted to check illegal mining activities.

Mnyim, who is also the Chairman of MIREMCO added that the state has come up with a checklist that would be used to scrutinise the mining sector in Benue.


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