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Governors behind illegal mining in states — Minister



State governors have been accused of supporting theft of national resources through illegal mining in the states. Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development (MSMD), Olamilekan Adegbite and the Chairman, Senate committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Tanko Almakura, made the allegation during an interactive session on Friday.

Adegbite said the affected governors usually give security cover to the illegal miners.

“What do you expect a mining officer to do when the State Government is backing this illegal mining?” Adegbite asked.

He said the federal government had turn its attention to Russia where it will seek expertise in its renewed effort to fix Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Complex to diversify the economy.

He said the Russians have assured completing the project at their own cost, to revive the steel complex which has not been running at its optimal capacity for over thirty years.

Responding, the committee chairman, Tanko Almakura, advocated a non-punitive approach to resolving the matter, which they both agreed, is on the exclusive list of government, restricting state direct development of the sector. (Daily Trust)

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