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Jayfm Commentary: Danger Posed by Illegal Mining Activities in Plateau State

Written by on July 6, 2022

Today’s news Commentary is on the danger posed by illegal mining activities in Plateau. It is written by the News and Current Affairs Department of Jay FM.

In Plateau state ,the activities of illegal miners have continued to raise concern among residents and other stakeholders in the state

An outcry by affected communities in various pars of the state on the danger which their activities pose to the people appear not to have received the desired attention over the years either .

Illegal miners have reportedly invaded large tracts of land, chasing away farmers which sometimes lead to clashes , degrading the soil and depriving communities and the public treasury of the benefits of their natural resources such as zinc, copper, tin, wolframite, tantalite and other base metals.

Not so long ago,the danger posed by illegal mining activities in Plateau communities was brought to the fore when a mining site in Zawan community in the Jos South Local Government Area caved in.

More than 50 persons were said to be working inside the pit when it collapsed and buried them alive.

While several people, who were mostly young men between the ages of 20 and 30, were rescued with varying degrees of injury, six miners, who were not so lucky, died inside the pit.

Before the the Zawan incident occurred ,the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Brig-Gen Babagana Monguno, had ordered the arrest of 16 Chinese nationals and eight Nigerians involved in massive illegal mining in Zurak Community, Wase Local Government of Plateau State.

Monguno ordered the arrest during a visit with the then Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to some illegal mining sites in the state

Apart from ordering the immediate stoppage of all mining activities in the area with the exception of duly licensed miners ,the Minister also shut down of the operations of Solid Unit Limited and Geotess Nigeria Limited immediately in line with the Mining Act, which empowers the Minister to stop illegal mining activities and take any action to ensure orderly development of the mineral resources.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong,who accompanied the Minister and the NSA on the visit to Wase LGA while responding, lamented the deprivation faced by people of Zurak despite the richness of the mineral resources that surround them and called on the Federal Government to take necessary measures to curb illegal mining all over Plateau State.

However ,apart from the fact that no diligent prosecution was pursued against the offenders in Wase LGA by the National Security Adviser and the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development till date, investigation also show that nothing has changed since then as illegal mining activities still thrive in Wase and many other Plateau communities .

Findings particularly paint heart-wrenching pictures of the depredation going on in some villages like Gero in Gyel District of Jos South Local Government Area,Dong in Jos North LGA and other communities in Riyom ,Barkin Ladi,Jos North, Wase among others .

There are also allegations of encroachment on the people’s land due to the activities of illegal miners .

Plateau state government and the federal government should act quickly to avoid the grave consequences associated with unregulated mineral exploitation.

They should demonstrate responsible leadership by halting the unconscionable plunder of the state natural resources and protect the people from the concomitant harassment and criminality unleashed on the communities by the illegal miners.

Decisive action taken today would not only avert a replay of the 2019 Zawan mining site collapse incident leading to the death of some locals but will also restore sanity in the exploitation of natural resources in Plateau state

Reader's opinions
  1. Joseph Dinju   On   July 6, 2022 at 11:29 AM

    The mining activities around Jos and environment particularly, tin ore and columbite is a long age occupation since the advent of colonial master. The miners have no other occupation that they held to,than the present mode of mining and have caused more harm than it should have, because those ponds and wells serve as death traps were the risk involved in the process had cause significant damaged to the entire communities, where miners inquire serious degree of injury sustaining permanent disability even death.
    The advantage of mining tin within this environment had help in the economic activities of the host communities, even foreigner have benefited from tin mine and majority of the inhabitants are miners, that has helped many to develop themselves and upkeep depends solidly on. The people had imbibe and development from the colonial methods, to a better methods that is not compared to the European own you can rule out the life style of mismanagement, and unhealthy behavioral attitude that is difficult for some people to understand.
    The challenge now is for the miners to advance in the activities, where equipment and mechanized their operation and indulge in more technology apply for better safety of life and property that will improve their productive.

  2. Micheal Mancha Bot   On   July 6, 2022 at 4:07 PM

    Thanks you Jay FM for raising a very vital alarm on the damage on illegal mining on the state. The people have nothing to make a living that illegal mining have become the only means of survival. Let the govt. Look deeper into mining of other minerals apart from the crude, I will also appreciate if you alarm the govt. On the need to invest heavy into the mining sector and develop it to generate more revenue and create more healthy jobs for the locals. Thanks. NB. CHINA IS ESCALATING NIGERIA.

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