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NSCDC arrests 1000 illegal miners in two years

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it has arrested no fewer than 1000 suspected illegal miners across the country in the last two years.

Chike Ikpeamonwu, the corps’ Commandant in charge of Mines and Steel Department, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Ikpeamonwu said that 50 of the arrested suspected illegal miners had been convicted.

“NSCDC was able to prosecute and convict them because we are mandated and empowered by the NSCDC Act, 2007 (as amended) to do so,” he said.

He said 50 Chinese and Indian were among those arrested, adding that they were given serious warning and freed due to the diplomatic ties between Nigeria and their countries.

The commandant said that the corps performed efficiently due to the staff expertise in security and the Federal Government support through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

“The ministry has continually trained our staff in charge of mining on how to identify the 44 different minerals available in Nigeria and the hazards associated with some of them.

“NSCDC has trained staff on peace and conflict resolution,” he added.

He said that due to insecurity in the Northeast, especially in Borno where mining activities had been shut down, the corps had suspended operation in area.

Ikpeamaonwu noted that the core mandate of the corps as provided in the NSCDC act was to protect critical national assets and infrastructure, among others.

He, however, said that logistics problems, including lack of vehicles, constrained the corps’ fight against illegal mining across the country


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