Kogi State government has arrested 10 suspects for illegal mining activities in Ankpa Local Government area of the state.
The State Commissioner for Solid Minerals and Natural Resources, Hon. Bashiru Gegu disclosed this on Monday evening in Ankpa.
Gegu spoke when his ministry in collaboration with the Kogi State Special Task Force on Illegal Smuggling of Firearms and Other Related Crimes began the enforcement of Governor Yahaya Bello’s directive on illegal mining across the state.
He noted that operation stop illegal mining in Kogi State is on course, saying that government has confiscated over 50 trucks carrying coal illegally .
According to the commissioner, the trucks were impounded with the support of the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS), and local vigilantes.
Gegu said : “We must implement the Federal Government policy and help in revenue generation.
“Over the years we have asked miners in the State approved by the Federal Government to register with the Ministry of solid Minerals and natural resources.
“This has however, fell on deaf ears with people brazenly destroying our communities. Illegal mining is totally prohibited in Kogi State.”
Gegu warned all mining companies and individuals to stop their illegal mining activities forthwith as the long hands of the law is set to catch up with them.
He reassured that anyone found wanting would be prosecuted.
Also speaking, the Director General Kogi State Special Task Force on Illegal Smuggling of Firearms and Other Related Crimes, Elder Friday Sani Makama, said it will no longer be business as usual for illegal miners in the state
He added that the present administration will leave no stone unturned in arresting and prosecuting any individual caught engaging in illegal mining in Kogi State.
He said : “Some set of individuals are milking the State of its natural resources.
“That is why Governor Yahaya Bello who wants the best for the people of Kogi state said it was time to put a stop to illegal mining in Kogi.
”Our operation here is very simple. All miners in Kogi State must operate within the ambit of the law.
“And my duty here is to ensure the enforcement of the directive given by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.”