Niger traditional rulers caution illegal miners
Traditional rulers in Niger State have warned those involved in illegal mining and indiscriminate felling of trees in the state to desist from the act as they will not condole such economic sabotage in their domain.
The royal fathers, who gave the warning while meeting with the state Commissioner for Environment, Mineral and Forestry Resources, Ali Mohammed, who is currently on a state-wide sensitisation tour to mining communities, promised to ensure that illegal miners in their communities are arrested.
Speaking while receiving the commissioner in his palace, the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Farouk Bahago, said there is need for the government to come up with stringent laws to deal with those behind illegal mining and indiscriminate tree felling.
The emir assured the commissioner that he will support steps by the government to tackle illegal mining, saying that he has directed all district heads in his domain to be vigilant and report any such activities in their communities.
Also, the Emir of Agaie, Alhaji Yusuf Nuhu, told the commissioner in his palace that the state government was loosing much revenue as a result of illegal mining and urged the government to register all miners in the state in order to monitor their activities.
He stated the need for those involved in indiscriminate felling of trees to stop, adding that: “We have invited our villages and district heads to monitor the activities of these people in their areas and report any act of illegal mining and tree felling to us. They should be made to face the law.”
He said the council of traditional rulers in the state has advocated for the review of the law regulating the sector at the State House of Assembly.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mineral and Forestry Resources, Ali Mohammed said: “We are revisiting areas of penalty in the forestry law so as to make fines effective enough to serve as deterrent for further destruction of the environment.”