The national security adviser, NSA, Ali Monguno, yesterday, ordered the arrest of 20 illegal miners including eight Chinese in Kampani Zurak village in Bashar chiefdom of Wase LGA, Plateau State.
The minister of mines and steel development, Kayode Fayemi, also accused security operatives of aiding and abetting illegal mining activities in Plateau State. Fayemi said: "“This cannot happen anywhere else in the world and we will not allow it anywhere in Nigeria. We do not want these miners."
- News (PremiumTimes)
What is Fayemi talking about? Is this a publicity stunt? Illegal mining has been going for decades and still going on in Plateau State and across Nigeria. Foreigners not just the Chinese, see the country as a free treasure hunting land. Fayemi says this illegal mining cannot happen anywhere else in the money. He is correct. But why does it happen? He blames security operatives for allowing it.
But the reason goes way beyond rogue security operatives. First, most citizens led by politicians, elite, elders and leaders, are patriotic about their pockets not Nigeria. Second, we are fixated on crude oil/gas which provides easy to loot billions of dollars so that all other mineral resources, agriculture and industry mean zilch.
Well, Fayemi has a mountain to climb. May he and the suddenly woken up NSA, spread their dragnet across the country to stop illegal mining. May he develop the non oil/gas mining industry and make it attractive to legal, credible and serious investors.
For now the industry is a joke. Pity. Isn't it?