No fewer than 80 suspected illegal miners have been apprehended in the last 10 months by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command Office, Kwara State.
This was made known by the commander of the zonal office, Micheal Nzekwe, when the Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development in the state, Abdulquiwiy Olododo, paid him an official visit at the commission’s office in Ilorin.
According to the commander, the suspects were nabbed with truckloads of assorted minerals.
He added that intelligence revealed the operation of illegal mining sites across the state and the efforts of the anti-graft agency in checking the menace, led to the arrest of 80 suspected illegal miners.
He stated that if the resources are channelled through the right sources and put into good use, they will be enough to sustain the economy of the state and make it self-sustaining.
The zonal commander lamented the rate at which the resources of Kwara state were being plundered by artisans and illegal miners, while asserting that the fight against corruption, particularly illegal mining, required the support of every individual for its success.
“Kwara state is enormously endowed with mineral deposits and the resources available in the 16 local government areas of the state are enough to turn it to ‘a small London’ if properly harnessed,” he declared.
Earlier, the state commissioner had reiterated government’s support for the efforts of the EFCC in checking illegal mining activities in the state.
He disclosed that “The government of Mallam Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, who is also the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, is determined to declare a state of emergency in the mining sector with a view to ensuring that money realised from the sector is used for the development of the state.”
The commissioner, who passed a vote of confidence on the EFCC for its courage and doggedness in fighting illegal mining activities in the state, said that, “The governor is firmly in support of what the EFCC is doing, particularly its efforts in checking unauthorised mining activities and other economic crimes in the state.”
According to him, “The government is not unaware of the challenges you are facing in carrying out this arduous task”, adding that “the government of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is determined to compliment your effort as it is focused on how to properly organise and harness the potentials in the mining sector to attract local and foreign investors.”