Kebbi State Government on Friday announced the immediate suspension of all mining activities across the state until further notice.
The suspension was declared by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Yakubu Bala Tafida at a press briefing, flanked by the Head of Service , Alhaji Sufyanu Garba Bena.
The press briefing was attended also by Hon. Commissioner of Solid Minerals and Mines Development, Hon. Haliru Aliyu Wasagu, Chairmen of Yauri, Shanga and Ngaski LGAs , Commissooner of Police,Chris Aimiono Wane and heads of other security agencies.
The SSG, however, said that the measure was a precautionary one aimed at ensuring the safety of both the mining workers and the local communities.
Tafida further said that the government was not unmindful of the fact that mining has been placed under the exclusive legislative list.
He said:”Yet, this decision for the suspension was made after a thorough assessment of the current security situation.
“This has raised serious concerns about the safety of those involved in the Industry.
“This coupled with the apparent lack of verifiable sign of corporate social responsibilities in the midst of complete lack of revenue generation.”
According to the SSG, the measure was also taken in the light of heightened security challenges in the localities of mining sites across the state.
There are also other concerns like the lack of CSR, total absence of accruable revenue, the ecological tax and development levy, among others.
Tafida also said that a significant number of the miners do not possess the requisite permit from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals and other observable environmental impacts.
The SSG added:” The Kebbi State Government believes that it is of utmost importance to prioritize the protection and security of its citizens.
“Also to guard against converting the mining fields as veritable platforms for the breeding of criminals by anauthorized foreigners and non indigenes with questionable characters.
“This is with attendant consequence of an increase in banditry activities in our security compromised areas of Kebbi South.”
Tafida further said the state government was not officially aware of the self-acclaimed mining licence holders and artisanal miners operating.
The SSG added that the state government seeks to address these concerns through comprehensive evaluation and strict enforcement of the extant regulations.
“This will seek to promote responsible mining, safeguard the environment, enhance revenue generation and serve as an effective proactive measure.
“The state government has invested huge funds in the improvement of the security situation and will not rest on its oars in doing so.
“This includes the economic prosperity of the indigenes in the localities where mining activities are taking place,”he said.
Tafida, among other actions, said that the state government was fully committed to resolving all the underlining infractions.
This is to create a safe and conducive environment that promotes safety, long-term economic prosperity of the communities and to enhance revenue generation.
The SSG said:” Consequently, all miners, irrespective of their status are hereby directed to suspend mining activities.
“They are to relate with State Ministry of Solid Minerals and Mines Development for authentication and documentation.
“Security agents are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance to the suspension order of mining activities until further notice.”