Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, says banditry in Nigerian is a tool used to create unfettered illegal mining activities.
This is as he reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to ending illegal mining in the country’s mining sector.
Alake made this known when he led a Federal Government delegation to pay a condolence visit to the Oyo State Government over last Tuesday’s explosion at Bodija estate in Ibadan.
He stated that the perennial insecurity in the country, especially banditry and terrorism, was a front for illegal mining.
He noted that these nefarious activities of armed non-state actors which were being associated with the mining sector were actually sponsored by illegal miners who are powerful people in the society.
“There are lots of connivance among the strata of the society —- both high, medium and low classes of the society —- in the nation’s mining sector.
“But the Federal Government is working together with the state and local governments, as well as the host communities, who have efficient knowledge of the local terrain to address the issue.
“Illegal mining is not exclusive to the high class alone, but cuts across the strata of our society. So, we are employing both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies and tactics to address the menace,” Alake said