Illegal mining raises security, environmental concerns in Nigeria


The extraction of mineral resources, which occurs in some parts of the country without the necessary approval from the statutory regulatory authorities, has continued to generate security concerns.

This is not unconnected to the fact that several Nigerians and even foreign nationals have in the last few years either been killed or abducted by criminal elements at the mining sites.

Similarly, because the activities of the miners are not monitored or regulated by relevant authorities, they tend to operate without guidelines, leading to environmental hazards and killing of operators.

It was gathered that collaborations between politically connected individuals and Chinese corporations in illegal mining of gold and other resources is also responsible for banditry and violent local conflicts in some parts of Nigeria, including the North West, North Central and to some extent, South West.

According to reports, an estimated 80% of mining in the North West region is carried out illegally and on an artisanal basis by local populations, causing security breaches in communities.

The mining of largely untapped mineral deposits in some parts of the country, especially gold, which has strategic importance and economic value, is at the root of violence in several communities.

DAILY POST recalls that about ten years ago, precisely in 2010, the outbreak of lead poisoning in Zamfara State led to the death of over 500 children, according to reports.

Prior to the incident, the Federal Government had banned mining in the state, as police consider illegal mining to be behind an ongoing spree of violence and kidnapping in the region.

Aside from the security issues, several Nigerians have lost loved ones on the basis of the collapse of illegal mining sites…


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