The Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, yesterday called on the federal government to stop states from banning mining activities.
National President, MAN, ‘Dele Ayanleke, said the constitution of Nigeria never empowered state governments to ban mining activities in their domains.
According to him, the constitution only gave states the power to regulate the mining sector.
Ayanleke, who spoke in reaction to the recent wave of banning of illegal miners and arrest of some miners registered with the association, by state governments said: “Our positions remain constant: Miners Association of Nigeria is absolutely against any form of illegality in the sector, either in regulatory or operative wing of the sector.
“Our motto: ‘The Watchdog of The Mining Industry’, and our membership admission policy that doesn’t entertain unlicensed operators, are eloquent testimonies to this claim. Do you need to ban illegality or take proactive actions to prevent or stop?
”When armed robbers come to your house, do you announce a ban or set up committee to ban? How can someone else beside the mother in the house decide who among the children in the family is either a bastard or a legitimate child?
“How can a state government that doesn’t issue mining permits know the legal and the illegal miners?
Where’s the involvement of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and its agencies that issue permits and regulate the sector in all these shenanigans?
“What happens to the Constitution of Nigeria that all our elected and appointed political officers sworn on oath to promote and defend?
“Our Minister and the entire apparatus of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, as the chief regulator/administrator can no longer afford to remain silent over this matter that is gradually assuming the status of a behemoth.”