By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Miners under the auspices of Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, Wednesday, disclosed of moves to meet with the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, over the possible reopening of some closed mining sites due to bandits’ activities in 2019.
This was made known y the National President, MAN, Kabir Kankara, in an exclusive interview with Vanguard while speaking on the need to have a secured mining sector that would attract investors and huge investments hoped for by the government and stakeholders.
According to Kankara who described the issue of security as critical said the situation has positively improved, hence the reduction of criminal activities based on sustained operations by security agents.
It would be recalled in April 2019, the Federal Government announced through the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, suspension of mining activities in Zamfara State in order to curtail activities of armed banditry that were terrorizing parts of the State, later some mining activities were also suspended in Kano State.
He said: “The security aspect in the mining sector and the mining sites to be precise is as critical as serious. I think we are having a sweeter and brighter picture of the scenario now. Insecurity is reducing and getting lower and lower, activity is becoming more active and pronounced now.
“In January, in the next one or two weeks I intend to sit down with the Inspector General of Police, and possibly pay a courtesy visit to opt the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, National Security Adviser, Comptroller General of Immigration, I have already called the Comptroller General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps.
“These people are the key to national security. They are to be approached and spoken with because without their complete input the sector cannot climb up. I believe they are all equal to the task to give us the necessary attention and assistance so that insecurity can go lower and lower because they know how critical it is
“No foreign investor will come and invest with millions of Dollars in an insecure environment. Security is critical and these actors are equal to the task and we can see insecurity going down and it is a good sign.
“That is one of the items I intend to discuss with the Inspector General of Police because it was publicly announced that some of the mining sites are being closed because of security challenges.
“I would want to go to the Inspector General of Police and plead with him now that the insecurity has gone down let him publicly and officially announce that miners can comfortably go and do their activities without hindrance. Officially it has not been announced.”
He also acknowledged that a lot needs to be done to take the association to the desired height, which he has coded 2020 as ‘Year of Action’.
“There is a lot to be done. The code name for this year is ‘Year of Action’, especially to my state chapters for advocacy because most of the state chapters are comatose, not practically inactive for so many reasons. Some of them are not financially sound as it is.
“This issue of lack of financial assistance from the government and other financial institutions is hampering activities and activeness of my members nationwide, from the state, local government and national levels he said.
He also assured his members that 2020 will be a year of going back to mining sites for production and prosperity.
“In essence, I want to assure them that this year we are going to everything possible that the little that will reach them should ginger them to go back to the site and work actively and they seem to be working actively and also to bring them together with us.
“This year we are going to see how we collaborate and bring our brothers together and get to where we want to reach”, he added.