09 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Federal Government on Tuesday restated the urgent need for states and local governments to commence registration of artisanal miners operating in their domains in a bid to ensure safer mining environment and improved revenue.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the mining site where illegal mining activities recently claimed four lives at Muye Kafinkoro Village, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State.
Fayemi, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari, while speaking to the press, lamented the unfortunate incident where a mango tree fell and killed four out of about a hundred local miners looking for gold dust
in an illegal site located in the village.
He said, “We will encourage them to register so that government can come to their aid in the area of capacity training, modern equipment and financial assistance to enable them to excel in their business.”
Kayode said it was important for the miners to properly organise themselves into cooperative groups, to benefit from various interventions of the federal government to boost the sector.
He said that the ministry would issue mining licences through the cooperatives.
The minister advised the miners to ensure that all dug wells were covered to prevent accidents. He explained that the registration of cooperatives would also allow the miners to be engaged by registered mining companies to earn a decent income.
“Mining must become job creative avenue and revenue-generating vehicle for Nigeria,” Kayode said.
The minister frowned at the involvement of children in mining activities, saying the government would not condone any form of child labour.
He said the ministry would carefully monitor to prevent the participation of children in the trade, adding that “ the children must be seen in school and not engaged in artisanal mining.”
Kayode called for active participation of local government chairmen and stakeholders in monitoring mining activities in their localities.