Illegal miners warned to vacate sites as FG revokes 1,633 mining licences


A Coalition of 40 civil society organizations have cautioned those engaged in illegal mining in Nigeria to vacate their sites.

The coalition led by the Executive Director of Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), Amb. Melvin Ejeh, said those engaged in illegal mining in Nigeria must be stopped.

Ejeh made the call while commending the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake for revoking defaulting mineral titles.

Recall that Alake had announced the revocation of 1,633 mineral titles over unpaid annual fees.

The action was the fallout of the Mining Cadastral Office which had on October 4, 2023, initiated the revocation process for 2,213 titles including exploration titles, small-scale mining licenses, quarry licenses, and mining leases.

The minister explained that the mineral titles were revoked due to the holders’ failure to pay the prescribed annual service fees on time.

He said despite a 30-day default notice from the Mining Cadastre Office, the holders were found in violation and non-compliance with their statutory obligations to the government.

However, Ejeh described the minister’s action as the best thing to have happened in the mining industry in recent times, saying it was long overdue.

His remark was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director of GOPRI; National Co-ordinator of
Center for Justice and Good Governance in Africa, Engr Bashir Dan Zaria; Director, Conference of North West Professionals Network (CONOWP); Dr (Mrs) Remi Edun for Community Action for Development (CAD) and Dr Ngozi Amechi, National Women Empowerment Network. (NAWOEN) and Engr. Goni Sheriff, Executive Director, Access to Good Governance Initiative.

The statement reads partly: “It’s high time that players engaging in illegal and fraudulent mining activities in Nigeria’s mining sector were stopped from their illicit activities.”

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