FG Reveals Next Action On Chinese Arrested In Osun

The Federal Government has announced plans to prosecute Chinese and foreign miners caught in Osun and Zamfara States.

Amiloaded recalls that 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals suspected to be illegal miners were arrested in the states

Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, disclosed this on Friday, adding that they would be prosecuted at the Federal High Court.

The minister said they are working with the judiciary to prosecute foreign illegal miners caught recently in Zamfara and Osun states, adding that such action would serve as a deterrent to others.

Adegbite lamented the operation of illegal mining activities by foreign nationals despite the ban on illegal mining activities in Zamfara since February 2019.

He said the foreign nationals, who had been identified included Chinese, Burkinabe, and Senegalese among others.

Adegbite said the Chinese nationals, in particular, lured artisanal miners with money to work for them.

“We are going to go diplomatic by interacting with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria so that it does not seem like we are unfairly targeting their people.

“We will present the facts to them so that they can also make sure they keep these people in check,’’ the minister said.

Adegbite said that the collaboration of state governments was, however, needed to address the situation effectively.

He said about 17 foreign illegal miners had so far been apprehended in Osun while two were apprehended in Zamfara.

Adegbite further disclosed that as part of the efforts to curb illegal mining activities in the country, the ministry was considering the need to register all local and foreign miners.

He said that the ministry was also in the process of registering all artisanal miners in the country since the government had decided to bring them into the sector’s mainstream.

“We discovered that a lot of the foreign illegal miners were in the country illegally because most of them had visitor visas, which lasted for only six months.

“The ministry would work with the Ministry of Interior to ascertain the status of foreigners to remove the illegal ones among them,” he added.

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