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April 22, 2024
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Comrade Chinonso Obasi, President, Nigerian Youth Union (NYU)

NYU urges FG to expedite action on creation of Mining Police

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By Angela Atabo

The Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), an umbrella body of young people all over Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government to hasten action on the creation of the proposed Mining Police Force to curb illegal mining.

NYU’s National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that Nigeria was losing a lot of resources to illegal miners; hence the need for urgent action to address the menace.

According to Obasi, the creation of such police unit will safeguard the nation’s mining sites and boost revenue generation.

“With the current economic downturn which leaves many sectors of the economy yearning for attention, stakeholders cannot afford to continue to look away while illegal miners fleece the country.

“Aside from oil revenues, accruals from mining can be veritable lifeblood for the nation if properly harnessed.

“However, the reverse is the case; the figures Nigeria loses to the activities of illegal miners are startling.

“Against the aforementioned, NYU is calling on the Federal Government to expedite action towards the setting of a special police unit which will be called the Mining Police Force to combat illegal mining.”

Obasi recalled that the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, recently said that intelligence reports indicated that some illegal miners were directly responsible for the upsurge of banditry in several parts of Nigeria; and hinted at the creation of Mines Police.

The NYU national president also recalled that recently, the Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mohamed Tunis, disclosed that Nigeria lost 91 per cent of its revenue from the mining sector to illegal miners.

“Tunis said a whopping 80 percent of mining in the country’s North-West region is conducted illegally, costing the nation 91 percent of potential mining revenue.”

Obasi said that it had become imperative to plug all loopholes and apply appropriate sanctions against illegal miners and their sponsors.

“The creation of such Mining Police, which will be domiciled in the Ministry of Solid Minerals, will no doubt enable the government to effectively man and protect the mining sites, gather credible intelligence, prosecute offenders, and in the multiplier effect, rake inadequate resources for the economy.

“Illegal mining and nonpayment of royalties must be contained as the youths are ready to rise against this brazen economic sabotage,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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