The Federal Government on Thursday commissioned 50 operation vehicles for use by the Special Mines Surveillance task force and the State Minerals Resources and Environmental Management committee (MIREMCO).
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who handed over the vehicles to the heads of the operation units, said strengthening the surveillance unit with operational vehicles and gadgets was part of government’s strategy to strengthen units in all the states of the federation.
Dr Fayemi said the special surveillance task force and the MIREMCO had not been able to deliver effectively on their mandate due to lack of required logistics, a situation, which according to him, has led to a surge in illegal mining activities.
“Considering the alarming rate the illegal mining has posed against the present administration’s efforts in diversifying the economy, Government has decided to take a coordinated approach to curtail the menace, sanitize the mines-field and position the sector on the path of sustainable development, hence the resuscitation of the Special Mines Surveillance Taskforce (SMSTF) in 2017. It may be recalled that the Task Force was establish in 2012,” Fayemi said.
Speaking further, the Minister expressed optimism that with this giant stride, the Nigerian Mining sector will record a meaningful progress in putting the country’s mining road map in a proper perspective for economic development.
“I am optimistic that with the commissioning of these vehicles and the provision of necessary logistics for the operations of the Taskforce and MIREMCOs, the illegal activities would be reduced drastically and our relationship with our state governments would be strengthened,” he added.
Dr Fayemi emphasised on a good working relationship among all stakeholders to achieve the desired objectives of the Federal government.