Reacting to the development, operators in the mining sector stated that the ban on mining activities by the Federal Government would render thousands of youths jobless and further worsen the state of insecurity in Nigeria.
Speaking under the aegis of the Miners Association Nigeria, the operators wondered what was the relationship between mining activities and the recent jailbreak in Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.
The National Secretary, MAN, Dele Ayanleke, told our correspondent that though the association was expecting more details about the proposed ban by government, care must be taken not to worsen insecurity in Nigeria through the ban.
Asked whether it was justifiable to say terrorists got some of their funding from illegal mining activities, Ayanleke replied, “The issue is that it cannot be a general problem. Before government will say that, one would expect that they must have done their due diligence and conduct in-depth investigations into what is actually happening.
“But the fact is that it is not in every part of Nigeria that this kind of situation is happening. We are aware that in the North-Central, around Zamfara and Katsina there has been issues.
“And even as we speak, for more than two years now, mining activities have been banned in Zamfara. But we don’t know the relationship between mining activities and the Kuje Correctional Centre break. We don’t know the relationship about those two issues.
He added, “We are quite aware that in Niger State recently there was this big massacre there that happened close to a mining site and might be related to mining activities. But one thing about that one is that we think it is more of a kidnap attempt that led to the massacre and not actually using mining revenue to sponsor insurgency and banditry.”