By Deborah Coker
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 12 suspects for conveying solid minerals from Kaduna State and Plateau to Port Harcourt in Rivers without relevant permits.
The Commandant of NSCDC in Edo, Mr Samuel Dan, disclosed this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Abuja.
“My command has arrested 12 suspects in connection with conveying solid minerals (conza stones, iron ore and coal), without relevant permits,@ he said.
Dan added that his command impounded four trucks.
He said that when the vehicles were stopped, it was discovered that they neither had their waybills nor licences permitting them to deal on mining.
“So, we saw them as people who were illegally conveying solid minerals or illegally dealing with them for some one.
“For you to deal on solid minerals, you need a permit, the approval of government and permission from the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals before you are even given a mining site,” commandant said.
According to him, mining is a source of revenue to the Nigerian Government and if those engaging in illegal mining and solid minerals are left to continue, they will be defrauding the government.
” So, it is based on this that we impound the vehicles.
“Investigation is ongoing now, and we have given them rooms to make available their permits and licences, and if any of them does, then we free them.
“We are taking every necessary step to forestall any planned acts of terrorism, particularly criminal activities aimed at depriving citizens of their property and lives.”
Dan, who called on the Federal Government to regulate the activities of miners, said government should not fold its arms without controlling the activities of miners.
According to him, it has been established that about 22, 000 weapons of mass destruction are related to mining, construction and medical.
“So, if we are talking of security in the country, those things have to be controlled.
“Governments have to regulate the activities of people that are in possession of these things.
“The same thing is applicable to this mining, the government expects anybody who deals with solid mineral to possess licence before dealing on it.
“t is good for government to regulate the activities of miners who involve in explosives, explosive device, especially now that most of these activities are carried out by foreigners,” he said.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deji Abdulwahab