- The mining ban in Zamfara is said to be affecting small scale businesses
- The commissioner for environment said reports that big shots were behind mining activities in the country were untrue
- The president of the miners association also said that it is difficult to determine the quantity of gold coming from Zamfara because of secret mining activities
Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmad Lugga, the Zamfara state commissioner for environment, has said that those who are affected by the mining ban are small scale businesses and not mega businesses as most believed.
Lugga said that the claim that ex-military generals like General Aliyu Gusau and Abdulsalam Abubakar are those behind mining activities in the state is not true, Daily Trust reports.
The commissioner, however, added that though the two generals have obtained licenses to mine in the state, they were yet to begin operation before the ban came.
“Those talking about ex-military generals conducting mining activities in Zamfara state, perhaps, they are talking about General Aliyu Gusau and General Abdulsalam Abubakar. Yes, they obtained the mining exploration license and but they are yet to start the mining activities proper.
“Even those with the exploration licence, few of them have obtained the mining lease that gives them the permission to start the mining activities. Before you even start the mining, you have to have a community agreement, that you will build hospitals or schools in the mining community,” he said.
Also, the president of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Kabiru Muhammed Kankara, also said that it is difficult to determine that the quantity of gold coming from Zamfara.
The MAN president said the reason for this is because there are many miners who are carrying out secret mining who then smuggled them out of the country with foreign investors.
He said: “You can only know what the genuine people are doing. The other ones will be doing it in secret and will not declare it to the government to generate revenue. And sometimes they do it in collaboration with some so-called foreign miners. They will be smuggling them out of the country.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the federal government, through the Inspector General of the Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu on Sunday, April 7, made public its decision to place a ban on mining in Zamfara.
According to a statement by Adamu, this is part of the federal government's effort to bring back peace to the state troubled by violence that has claimed the lives of many persons, especially in 2018.
It was gathered that the violence and killings in the state have been fuelled by the mining of gold and lead.
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