Corruption and Underdevelopment

EFCC moves to tackle illegal mining, non-payment of royalties

By Paul Michael

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared its readiness to strengthen its collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to tackle illegal mining and non-payment of royalties by miners in Kwara State.

This was made known by the Commission in the statement published on its website on Friday.

According to the statement, the Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, gave the hint on Thursday, August 25, 2022, while playing host to the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Ibrahim Muhammed who was at the Commission on a familiarization visit.

Nzekwe described the NSCDC as a strategic partner in the fight against corruption.

“One of the critical areas that we will want to seek your collaboration is in the area of illegal mining. As agencies of government, part of our responsibilities is to check corruption and preserve sources through which the government generates revenue for the wellbeing of its citizenry.

“We cannot, therefore, sit back and watch people divert or pilfer what is meant for government to personal use.

“The law made it compulsory for miners to pay royalties to the Federal Government. The Federal Government is losing a lot to the activities of the illegal miners not only in Kwara State but elsewhere in Nigeria.

“If due processes are followed and royalties are paid, not only that the Federal Government would benefit, the State Government is equally entitled to royalty to cater for its people,” he stated.

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The Zonal Commander, who described the inability of some of the miners to pay royalties as “economy sabotage” said, the Ilorin Zonal Command of the agency would investigate the activities of the illegal miners in Kwara, Ekiti, and Kogi States which are under his Command with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Responding, the Kwara NSCDC boss, Ibrahim Mohammed, commended EFCC for promoting inter-agency synergy in the fight against corruption.

According to NSCDC Commandant, the visit was to familiarize him with military and para-military formations following his recent transfer to Kwara State.

While calling for further ties between the EFCC and the NSCDC, he said the collaboration became imperative as “no agency can do it alone”.

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