The Kwara State government has again reiterated its support for the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in checking illegal mining activities in the state.
The State Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development, Honourable Abdulquiwiy Olododo gave this assurance on Monday, September 25, 2023 when he led the management staff of the Ministry on a courtesy call to the Zonal Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, at the Commission’s Office, GRA, Ilorin.
He disclosed that, “the government of Mallam Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman, who is also the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, is determined to declare a state of emergency in the mining sector with a view towards ensuring that money realised from the sector are used for the development of the state.”
Honourable Olododo, while passing a vote of confidence on the EFCC for its courage and doggedness in fighting illegal mining activities in the state said that, “the governor is firmly in support of what EFCC is doing particularly its efforts in checking unauthorized mining activities and other economic crimes in the State.”
According to him, “the government is not unaware of the challenges you are facing in carrying out this arduous task”, stressing that “the government of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq is determined to compliment your efforts as it is focused on how to properly organise and harness the potentials in the mining sector to attract local and foreign investors.”
Honourable Olododo, who took over the reins of the ministry barely a month ago, said that he was aware of all the commitments made so far by the EFCC even before he assumed duty as the Commissioner in charge of solid minerals development. “So, I have come to say a big thank you to the EFCC for all that you have been doing to make Kwara better”, he said.
The Commissioner while urging the Commission not to relent its efforts in sanitizing Kwara of corruption called for more collaboration and synergy among agencies of government especially for the ongoing anti-corruption crusade by the EFCC.
In his remarks, Nzekwe delightfully welcomed Honourable Olododo describing his visit as ‘timely and first of its kind’ after his assumption of office as commissioner.
While commending Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq for appointing young and vibrant people into his cabinet, Nzekwe said that the choice of Honourable Olododo as the helmsman of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development would no doubt turn the sector around for good.
According to him, “Kwara is enormously endowed with mineral deposits and the resources available in the 16 Local Government Areas of the State are enough to turn it to a ‘small London’, if properly harnessed.”
The Zonal Commander disclosed how intelligence revealed the operation of illegal mining sites across the state and the efforts of the EFCC in checking the menace, which culminated in the arrest of no fewer than 80 suspected illegal miners with truckloads of assorted minerals within the last ten months. While lamenting the rate at which the resources of the state are being plundered by artisan/illegal miners, he said that “the resources, if channeled through the right sources and put into good use are enough to sustain the economy of the state and make it self-reliant.”
He added that, “the fight against corruption particularly illegal mining requires the support of every individual for it to succeed” and assured that “the Commission will spare no effort in ensuring the enforcement of all extant laws against illegal miners and corrupt individuals in the state.”
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