The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Edo command, says it will clamp down on illegal mining operators in the state.
The state Commandant of the Corps, Makinde Ayinla, said this on Thursday at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and stakeholders in Benin.
Ayinla said that the command had given enough time to all operators to regularise their documents, operating licences, royalty payment and environmental impact assessment.
He noted that the state was blessed with limestone, kaolin, granite, and gypsum, adding that the resources had attracted activities such as quarry, burrow pits and mining processes.
The commandant said that the corps was partnering with the ministry to fully harness the benefits of the mineral resources.
He charged the operators to ensure that no mining sites were situated less than 50 metres to power lines, railway lines, public buildings, reservoir, dam, and public roads.
Ayinla further said that officers of the command would soon embark on stop-and-search operation.
He advised operators, tippers and lorry owners to ensure that their waybill tallied with other relevant documents to avoid prosecution should there be a breach.
He said that the corps would no longer fold its arms and watch individuals sabotage government efforts and resources.
“Nigeria is a country endowed with human and natural resources, which if properly managed, will make the country one of the world powers,” he said.
Also speaking, Kalu Kalu, who represented the Zonal Coordinator of the ministry, noted that illegal mining was a criminal offence punishable under the law.
The coordinator said that to strengthen operational activities, the minister had established a close relationship with the NSCDC, resulting in the creation of the Solid Mineral Unit in corps.
According to him, the office organised enlightenment programmes on the need for miners to conduct their activities legally and in line with best practices.
He said that the meeting would avail the various communities the opportunity to know that non-compliance with the provisions of mining laws could lead to the prosecution of offenders.