By Abdullahi Olesin
Ilorin — Illegal operation and sales of gold by unregistered miners are parts of the factors responsible for increased terrorists activities in the country.
The chairman of the Association of Licensed Small Scale Mining Operators of Nigeria (ALSSMON), Prince Olugbenga Ajala stated this while addressing newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday.
Ajala also announced the readiness of the licensed small scale local miners in the country under ALSSMON to collaborate with the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) to tackle illegal mining activities and insecurity in the country.
“Illegal mining is that mining activities that are done without licensing. It implies conducting mining activities without license/permit or using inappropriate permit which is detrimental to development of Nigeria and this has also led to recent illegal sales of gold to fund terrorism.
“Terrorism financing happening in Zamfara and other parts of the country are regrettably disappointing”, he said, adding that the association will be willing to renounce the tragedy with all sense of commitment,” he added.
Ajala said that the planned visit of PAGMI team to Kwara State will enable the association sensitize artisanal miners.
He said that laws of the land recognize artisanal and small scale mining, adding that the presidential team should work with holders of valid mining license.
Ajala also said that the presence of the team will further support the artisanal miners and provide enabling environment, and register mineral buying centres.
He added that the relationship between the association and the presidential team will further solidify the partnership between the legal miners and eventual incorporation of illegal miners for them to be licensed and contribute to economy development of the country.