Mr. Ola Olukoyede, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has identified illegal mining as a significant menace to Nigeria’s economic growth and development. Speaking at the 5th Annual Conference of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development in Ilorin, Olukoyede emphasized the need to address unauthorized mining activities, characterizing them as both economic leaks and threats to national and local economies.
During the conference themed “Minerals and Metal: A Panacea for Economic Growth and Diversification,” Olukoyede, who conveyed his message through the Ilorin Zonal Commander of the EFCC, ACE1 Michael Nzekwe, highlighted the severe dangers posed by illegal mining. He stressed that it not only jeopardizes economic stability but also endangers the lives of the people involved.
Expressing concern about the rampant plundering of resources in Kwara State by artisanal miners, Olukoyede asserted that if properly harnessed, these resources could sustain the state’s economy and foster self-reliance. He commended the Kwara state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, for supporting the fight against corruption and illegal mining while calling on all stakeholders to collaborate in curbing criminal activities associated with unauthorized mining.
Governor Abdulrasaq, in his keynote address, revealed the state’s recent registration of five Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to acquire viable mining sites, aiming to position Kwara as a major producer of solid minerals in Nigeria. He highlighted the abundance of mineral resources in each of the state’s 16 local government areas, presenting lucrative opportunities for investors.
Kwara State’s Commissioner for Solid Mineral Development, Abdulqowiyu Olododo, assured that the state government is working with security agencies to safeguard investors within its borders. He emphasized the existence of a framework to facilitate work in the state without encroaching on the Federal Mining Act.