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Benue Gov. suspends mining operations indefinitely over security threats

By News Desk

The Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has suspended all mining activities across the state indefinitely, to allow proper compilation of bio-data of miners’ and for certification by security experts.

Alia also frowned at the contamination of underground water sources for residents especially in Kwande Local Government and other parts of the state where residents were battling to source for uncontaminated water.

He gave the directive when he met with members of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Benue Chapter in Makurdi, the state capital yesterday.

Aside that, the governor directed the Mineral Resources and Environment Management Committee (MIREMCO) to immediately begin documenting data of all miners in the state.

According to him, the decision to conduct the revalidation exercise was due to reports of security threats and others.

The governor enjoined security agencies and the joint task force on illegal mining to ensure that the right thing was done to enhance the well-being of the people and increase the Internally Generated Revenue.

“The state government will not tolerate any illegality. It is our administration’s prerogative to protect lives and property of the people,” he said.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim, said Gov Alia was not against mining but wanted to check illegal Mining activities.

Mnyim, who is also the chairman of the MIREMCO, said the state has come up with a checklist which would be used to scrutinise the mining sector in Benue.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Nigeria Miners Association in Benue, John Tersugh, promised to cooperate with the governor to sanitise the mining sector. The Mining officer in the Federal Ministry of Mining and Solid Minerals, Simon Ogwu promised to support the state government to sanitise the mining sector in Benue.

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