EFCC Vows To Tackle Illegal Mining, Non-Payment of Royalties

By Gbenga Sodeinde

The Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), In Kwara state,  Michael Nzekwe has hinted on his preparedness to strengthen the existing collaboration between the Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in tackling illegal mining and non-payment of royalties by miners in Kwara State.

Michael, an Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE, made this disclosure on Thursday, August 25, 2022 while playing host to the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Ibrahim Muhammed who was at the Commission’s Office along Catchment Close, GRA, Ilorin on a familiarization visit.

Nzekwe, who described the NSCDC as a strategic partner in the fight against corruption said, “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 government generate 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”

He stated further: “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 also 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 13 percent derivation of the royalty paid to cater for its people.

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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 torchlight the activities of the illegal miners in Kwara, Ekiti and Kogi States which are under his Command with a view to bring perpetrators to justice.

He expressed delight over the cordial relationship between the Commission and the Corps, particularly the recent deployment of some of the personnel of the Corps to assist the Commission in guiding some of its forfeited assets spread across the three States under the Command.

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

According to NSCDC Commandant, the visit was to familiarize 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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