EFCC Renews Efforts to Combat Illegal Mining Activities

Date: 2024-05-13

According to a news report from Royal News, Harry Erin, the Acting Zonal Director of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has reiterated the Commission's commitment to combatting illegal mining activities in Kwara State.

Erin reaffirmed this commitment on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, during a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Office in Ilorin by Dr. Afees Abolore, Commissioner of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Kwara State, along with other management members.

Expressing concern over the prevalence of illegal mining across the state, Erin emphasised that such activities pose a significant threat to both the local and national economies if left unchecked. He assured that the EFCC would persist in its efforts to address this crime.

Highlighting the global shift towards solid minerals as an alternative revenue source, Erin underscored Kwara State's abundant mineral deposits, which have the potential to bolster the nation's economy.

“Kwara State is one of the States of the Federation blessed with large quantities of mineral deposits such as lithium, lepidolite, petroleum, and gold among others. These natural minerals, if properly harnessed, have the capacity to sustain the economy of this country”, he said.

According to him, “a ton of lithium currently sells above $70,000. Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks of lithium are being moved away from this state illegally without record. So, the loss is huge, if put on a scale.”

The Zonal Director stated further that illegal mining was the worst thing that could happen to any economy. “Illegal mining is another devastation that puts this state at risk. It is not only an economic sabotage, it also causes a lot of socio-economic destruction, insecurity, banditry and a host of other vices.”

He, however, expressed confidence in the competence of the Commission to tackle the menace headon. According to him, “the Commission has been active in tackling their criminalities and will continue to ensure that extant laws against illegal miners are enforced.”

While appreciating the support of the government of Kwara State for the Commission’s anti-corruption fight, the Zonal Director called for more collaborative efforts in checking the activities of the operators in the mining sector.

Responding, Abolore, on behalf of the government of Kwara State commended the EFCC for its giant strideS, especially its efforts in sanitizing the mining sector in the State. He described the EFCC as the foremost anti-graft agency in Nigeria, whose intervention in the mining sector came at the right time. To this end, the Commissioner promised to work in partnership with the Commission, in its bid to curb activities of illegal miners and non-payment of royalties by operators in the state.

 


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