Nigeria Deploys Additional 350 Marshals To Combat Illegal Mining  

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Nigeria has deployed another batch of 350 Mining Marshals to combat illegal operations in the country’s mining value chain.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dr. Dele Alake, declared that the latest deployment to the mining marshals’ outfit underscored the federal government’s commitment to reforming the mining sector.

LEADERSHIP learned that since the inauguration of the first batch of 2,220 mining marshals in March this year, over 200 illegal mining suspects had been arrested, with 133 prosecutions ongoing. Also, illegally mined minerals had been confiscated and forfeited to the federal government.

The induction of the new operatives brings the total number of specially trained and kitted mining marshals deployed nationwide to 2,570.

In a recent interview, Dr Alake revealed that the number of operatives will be increased from 60 personnel per state to 100.

Speaking at the passing-out parade of the new operatives at the NSCDC headquarters in Abuja, the minister, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Dr. Mary Ogbe, praised his interior ministry counterpart, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for their collaboration in combating illegal mining.

According to a statement by Segun Tomori, special assistant on media to the minister of solid minerals development, Dr Alake remarked that the efforts of the mining marshals had significantly reduced illegal mineral haulage and the activities of unlicensed operators nationwide.

“Today’s Passing-Out Parade of the second batch will further increase our numbers, ensuring wider coverage and enhancing the operational effectiveness of the squad. As we integrate and improve collaboration between mining marshals and Federal Mines Officers (FMO) across the country, we aim to intensify sector sanitisation and boost investor confidence, leading to increased investments and development in the mining industry,” Alake said.

On his part, NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Abubakar Audi, revealed that the new operatives underwent an intensive eight-week training programme to prepare them for their special assignment.

The minister of interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, stressed the need for more training and deployment of the mining operatives “to protect our mining areas and ensure our nation reaps the full benefits of its solid minerals, for economic development.”

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