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Solid Minerals Minister Alake Unveils Mines Marshals to Secure Mining Sites Nationwide

2,200 Mines Marshals have been tasked to utilize technologically-driven approach to enhance efficiency in preventing illegal mining activities.

In fulfilment of his pledge  to create a new security architecture to secure mining sites, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development,  Dele Alake, has charged the 2,200-strong Mines Marshal to smoke out illegal miners and all those who flout the nation’s mining laws.

Formally receiving the marshals drawn from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) from the Commandant-General, Abubakar Audi, representing the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Alake charged the new operatives to stem theft and all nefarious activities around the nation’s mineral resources.

As a result of the efforts of the presidential inter-ministerial committee on securing natural resources chaired by Alake, Tunji-Ojo, a few weeks ago launched the NSCDC-led mines marshal, which represents the first layer of the new security architecture to secure the mining environment.

Alake disclosed that talks were on with the Ministry of Police Affairs to boost the marshals with more men.

With a command structure spread across the 36 states and the FCT, the mines marshal will have their command and control domiciled in the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development(MSMD), with an initial 60 operatives deployed in each state and the FCT.

Highlighting the role played by his interior counterpart in the evolution of the new security outfit, Alake commended Tunji-Ojo for putting words to actions and working tirelessly with the solid minerals ministry to achieve the feat.

“Today’s event of unveiling and formally handing over the specially trained and selected civil defence structure to engage illegal miners and sanitise our mining environment was also part of what we conceived at the inter-ministerial committee chaired by me.

“ I am very happy to let the public know that from the outset we said are going to tackle insecurity in the mining sector and the first batch of the security apparatus is what we are launching today,” the minister added.

The mines marshal, an inter-agency security outfit will incorporate special operatives from other security agencies like the Nigeria Police, army, amongst others. Its operations will largely be technologically driven.

In his remarks, NSCDC Commandant-General, Abubakar Audi stated that the new mines marshal will give verve to the corps’ mandate of protecting national assets and infrastructure in which solid minerals is a major component.

Audi revealed that the marshals will liaise with mine inspectorate in states to garner intelligence and take directives from the ministry for effective execution of its mandate.

“We have a list of illegal miners across the nation, and we will go after them. Their days are now numbered, “Audi declared.

The Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi, who graced the occasion, expressed satisfaction with the new security outfit, noting that with improved security around mining areas, Nigeria’s economic fortunes is bound for a forward leap.

” When the minister reeled out his seven-point agenda during his inaugural address, which included the Mines Police, not a few people were sceptical about it.

“But today, he has matched words with action. 

On behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I doff my hat for him. You can rest assured of the continued support and cooperation of the House of Reps and, by extension, the National Assembly,” Gbefwi said.

The new Mines Marshal is led by a Commander, Chief Superintendent of Corps,  Attah Onoja.

Michael Olugbode and Folalumi Alaran

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