Plateau: Berom youths demand participation in mining
• Want Governments To Address Poverty Before ‘Illegal Mining’
Youths in Kuru District of Jos South Local Council of Plateau State have sent a message to both Federal and state governments to address poverty, neglect, hunger, diseases, impoverishment before talking about legal or illegal mining in the state.
Speaking during the Sensitisation/Awareness Campaign on Illegal Mining in Plateau State, an event organised by Mines Inspectorate Department of Jos Zonal office, yesterday, they lamented lack of money, saying a few influential people in the society have squandered all available resources.
They wondered whether resources found in their area could not be explored by the natives.
They also argued that if not for the peaceful nature of the Berom people, they would have agitated, just like Niger Delta militants.
The Zonal Mines Officer in charge of North Central, Abubakar Ridwan Muhammad, said: “What we are doing today is to bring awareness to the local people. The people we see today are those doing real illegal mining. That is why we came to discuss with them to find out the genesis and why they are doing that so that we can advise them. For this reason, we changed the names from illegal miners to informal miners…”he said.
Muhammad told them to form cooperative unions so that they would be recognised, as they could get soft loans from either the Bank of Industry (BoI) or a grant from the ministry. He said that government was ready to empower them.
Chairman of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Corporation (MIREMCO), Plateau State Chapter, Senator Davou Zang, said the awareness was to enlighten the people, as many of them were ignorant of the law.
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