At least 2 million Nigerians are now directly and indirectly dependent on artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) in Nigeria, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa-Bwari has said.
The minister stated this yesterday in Abuja in a keynote address during a programme on stakeholders’ discourse on the opportunities and challenges of artisanal mining in Nigeria with special focus on health, safety, national security, formalisation and empowerment of artisanal miners and effects on environment.
According to him, “Most of them are poor and unemployed, living in rural areas and employing crude methods and household implements to exploit these minerals which they sell to feed their families.
He stressed that at this stage of the country’s development, these are the people responsible for 90 per cent of the country’s mineral production.
“They are mostly to be found mining precious minerals like gold, silver, cassiterite, coltan, lead/zinc, sapphire, emerald, tourmaline, aquamarine, gypsum, barytes, silica sand, granite, sandstones, clay, salt, etc.
He further emphasised that while government cannot afford to criminalise their activities wholesale , it would also not fold its hands and watch as the damage to the lives of people and the environment continue unabated.
After declaring the session open, the minister, alongside the permanent secretary, Abdulkadir Mua’zu, presented a brand new Toyota Hillux to the chairman, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alh. Shehu Sani as part of the ministry’s support towards enhancing mining operations in the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mua’zu noted that though artisanal and small – scale mining has provided jobs for many, the challenges must be addressed given the grave consequences of unregulated and indiscriminate mining on communities and the environment as a whole, hence the importance of the discourse.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NEWS22 hours ago
2019: Why I Choose Balarabe As My Running Mate – el-Rufai
- POLITICS13 hours ago
Nasarawa CAN Divided Over PDP, APGA Governorship Candidates
- CRIME24 hours ago
Teenage Female Suicide Bomber Arrested In Borno
- NEWS13 hours ago
Campaign Funds: PDP, Atiku In Dilemma, Says APC
- OPINION12 hours ago
ASUU And New Minimum Wage
- METRO21 hours ago
Lagos Govt. Approves Use Of Hijab In Schools
- POLITICS12 hours ago
Furore Over Atiku’s Dubai Meeting
- CRIME14 hours ago
I’m Committed To Ending Boko Haram Insurgency – PMB