Ogun State Government has vowed to tackle the various sharp practices allegedly perpetrated by foreign miners, saying their actions have been hindering the operations of indigenous miners.
The Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe said this during a mining stakeholders’ engagement meeting at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The Commissioner also said the government has a duty to ensure that a level playing ground exists among miners operating in the state.
Longe, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Investment, Tunji Akinbo said the present administration in the State would not tolerate any act that hinders the principle of fairness to all legitimate miners in the State.
She added that the Ministry was aware of the various antics of foreign miners who deceptively present their local representatives as owners of their mining companies to get approvals for small-scale mining operations, stressing that the government would ensure operators, whether local or foreign, comply fully with mining regulations given by regulators of the sector.
“We are going to nip this challenge of foreigners engaging in small-scale mining in the bud. We will ensure they comply with all the terms of the approval given to them because it is important to us that the business of our indigenous miners thrives.
“This government will not allow local miners and other local business operators in the State’s mining sector to be shortchanged or eliminated in the value-chain”, she said.
The Commissioner also stated that the Ministry was fashioning out appropriate strategies to address the exorbitant cost of mining equipment which has been preventing local mining operators from sustainable mining.
Also speaking, a representative of Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, Engr. Gbenga Animasaun and first Vice Chairman of Nigerian Union of Mine Workers (NUMW), Ijebu branch, Comrade Adejare Abiodun urged the government to expedite action in making the sector more conducive for operators.
They added that prompt government action would translate to cheaper cost of quarry products and boost the value-chain.