The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has advised duly registered Miners to continue with their mining operations, while adhering to safe mining protocols.
This is contained in a statement by Mrs Etore Thomas, the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry on Saturday in Abuja.
The ministry said that miners should put adequate security in their various mining sites while conducting their operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government at the Security Council Meeting, announced the possibility of banning motorcycles and mining as a way of addressing the myriad of security challenges facing the country.
“It’s necessary to clarify that the measures being considered by the Security Council are targeted to cut off sources of funding and logistics, which terrorists have leveraged on to execute their nefarious activities.
“Although government is yet to take decision on the ban of mining across the country.
“The ministry wishes to inform the public that efforts are being intensified against illegal mining activities across the country, as this has been established to have connections with banditry and kidnapping.
“The additional measures that may be taken is therefore targeted at the activities of illegal miners and not legitimate operators in the sector,” says the ministry
According to the statement, the ministry is saddled with the responsibility of advising the Federal Government on the formulation and execution of laws and regulations guiding mining, among other duties.
The ministry also said that for purposes of clarity, mineral resources remained on the Exclusive Legislative list as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Section 44 (3) states: “The entire property in and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria or in, under or upon the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria shall vest in the Federal Government.
“The mineral shall be managed in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly; likewise, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 is very clear on issue of minerals ownership and exploitation.”