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EFCC Reiterates Commitment to Tackling Illegal Mining Activities in Kwara

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The Acting Zonal Director of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Harry Erin, has restated the resolve of the Commission to continually check the menace of illegal mining activities in Kwara State.

He gave this assurance on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, while playing host to  Commissioner of Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Kwara State, Dr. Afees Abolore, who led other management members on a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Office in  Ilorin.

Erin, while decrying the illegal mining activities happening at different locations across the state,  noted that“illegal mining is a threat to both local and national economy, if left unchecked” and assured that the EFCC would not relent in tackling the crime.

He stated that the world is gradually diversifying from petroleum to solid minerals as an alternative source of revenue, pointing out that  Kwara State  is one of the states of the federation blessed with mineral deposits large enough to sustain the economy of the country.

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“Kwara State is one of the States of the Federation blessed with large quantities of mineral deposits such as lithium, lepidolite, petroleum, and gold among others. These natural minerals,  if properly harnessed, have the capacity to sustain the economy of this country”, he said.

According to him, “a ton of lithium currently sells above $70,000. Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks of lithium are being moved away from this state illegally without record. So, the loss is huge, if put on a scale.”

The Zonal Director stated further that illegal mining was the worst thing that could happen to any economy.  “Illegal mining is another devastation that puts this state at risk. It is not only an economic sabotage, it also causes a lot of socio-economic destruction, insecurity, banditry and a host of other vices.”

He, however, expressed confidence in the competence of the Commission to tackle the menace headon. According to him, “the Commission has been active in tackling their criminalities and will continue to ensure that extant laws against illegal miners are enforced.”

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While appreciating the support of the government of Kwara State for the Commission’s anti-corruption fight, the Zonal Director called for more collaborative efforts in checking the activities of the operators in the mining sector.

Responding, Abolore, on behalf of the government of Kwara State commended the EFCC for its giant strideS, especially its efforts in sanitizing the mining sector in the State. He described the EFCC as the foremost anti-graft agency in Nigeria, whose intervention in the mining sector came at the right time.  To this end, the Commissioner promised to work in partnership with the Commission, in its bid to curb activities of illegal miners and non-payment of royalties by operators in the state.

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