The Federal Government has restated its commitment to checkmate the activities of illegal miners in the country.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, stated this at a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday in Uyo.
He explained that the Federal Government had put in place measures to checkmate the illegal activities of miners in the country.
“Efforts have been taken by the Federal government towards addressing the issue of illegal mining,” he said.
Fayemi, represented by Mr Salim Salah, Director of Mines in the ministry said that the essence of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Committee was to create synergy between the three tiers of government.
He said that the development of mineral resources initiative had yielded some desired results while calling for a harmonious relationship between host communities and mining operators.
The minister noted that the sector can only thrive in a conducive and peaceful atmosphere.
He commended the State Government for its support towards the stakeholders meeting and for taking necessary steps towards checkmating the activities of illegal miners in the state.
In his remarks, Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom called on the Federal Government to give up the development of mineral resources to states.
Emmanuel, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, stressed the importance of mineral development towards the diversification of the economy.
“Akwa Ibom is blessed with numerous mineral resources and my administration is dedicated to exploring this sector as part of our strategic plan to diversifying our economy from almost dependence on oil.
“Let me use this opportunity to join others who have asked that this development of minerals be removed from the exclusive list.
“The state government should have total control”, he said.
Emmanuel added that the state was endowed with mineral resources while urging the Federal Government to include Akwa Ibom in minerals map of Nigeria.
“Our state should be included in the mineral map. It is blessed with economically viable solid minerals such as limestone, clay etc.
“We are investing huge resource in this sector of the economy,” Emmanuel said.
Also speaking, Mr Iniobong Essien, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, commended the organisers of the event.
He said that the event was apt as it was in consonance with the mineral development policy of the state government.
Essien called on investors to take advantage of the opportunities that were abound in the mining sector.
The event was organised by the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIMRECO), Akwa Ibom chapter in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Akwa Ibom Ministry for Environment and Mineral Resources.