The Secretary of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dele Ayanleke, said that insecurity has spiked at mining sites due to the tug of war between the Federal Government and state governments who seek to take control of these sites.
Ayanleke said that mining was in the exclusive list and control remained in the hands of the Federal Government who “are the actual regulators” of the country’s mining sector.
He urged state governments to find a middle ground that would foster collaborative efforts in the stead of trying to gain control.
He said, “Minning is in the exclusive list, but every state wants to take control of the resources within their domain. That is creating a lot of security breaches at the mining site, which overwhelmed the federal authorities who are the actual regulators of the industry.
“We are appealing to the state governments to seriously partner with the federal government, instead of these issue of multiple control.”
The secretary noted that insecurity on mining sites has mostly been in the northwest, as Zamfara, Niger, and Katsina were mostly affected.
He said, “It’s not something that is all over, though there are security problems in some places, like banditry and others but it’s not as if all the mining fields are filled with blood. For instance, we mine in Oyo and Osun state, and it’s very peaceful.
“The issues are mostly in the northwest; Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, those are the places where the mining fields seems bedeviled and the crisis is a spillover from the insecurity situation in Nigeria, they are just using the mining fields because most of these mining sites are located far away in the bush.
“Nigeria is for all Nigerians, everyone has the right to move within the country, especially when it comes to finding a means of livelihood and we can’t discriminate.
“The only thing is that security apparatus should be effective and try to screen troublemakers, especially those that are foreigners and flush them out of the country.”