The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has urged newly deployed Federal Mines Officers to pay maximum attention to matters relating to the procurement, transportation, storage and use of explosives in their respective states, stressing that they would be held responsible for any diversion of explosives to unauthorised persons.

Dr Fayemi gave the warning during a meeting with the 37 newly deployed Federal Mines Officers in his office on Tuesday, even as he assured them that they would be adequately equipped for the assignment.

The Minister hinted that none of the Federal Mines Officers recalled last week has been found culpable over the reported illegal diversion of explosives which led to the arrest of some individuals. He, however, said there was need for the new officers to be extra vigilant because of the sensitive nature of their job.

“The search light of the Ministry, the law enforcement agencies and other accountability institutions will be beamed on you and you can rest assured that any officer found to have sabotaged the country in any form shall be summarily dealt with.”

The Minister also tasked them on the need to ensure that all payments  to the Federal Government on services provided by the ministry are made to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

On plans being made by the ministry to ensure effective service delivery, Dr Fayemi said the ministry has partnered with other crucial government agencies including the Ministries of Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, all security agencies, host state governments, traditional institutions and community leaders, to ensure security and environmental safety.

The Minister also revealed that government would soon inaugurate and deploy about 20,000 Mining Surveillance Officers to strengthen regulatory operations across the country.

Dr Fayemi said: “An often neglected aspect of your job is the need to ensure that all monthly explosives returns and quarries returns submitted by the operators are checked and confirmed that such returns provide answers to the question contained there-in.

“Henceforth all companies- mining and quarrying- operating in your various jurisdictions should always forward a copy of the monthly explosives and quarry returns to the corporate headquarters first week following the month for which return is made.

The Minister said henceforth, recommendations on application for explosives from the North-East, North –Central, South-South and South-East zones should be addressed to his office