Dele Alake, minister of Solid Minerals, on Monday, said the Federal Government was committed to ending illegal mining in the country’s mining sector.
Alake spoke when he led a federal delegation on a condolence visit to the Oyo State government over Tuesday’s explosion at Bodija estate in Ibadan.
The minister contended that powerful Nigerians were behind banditry associated with illegal mining in Nigeria.
He said a lot of banditry, terrorism and insecurity that were being associated with the mining sector were sponsored by illegal miners who are powerful people in the society.
“There is connivance among the strata of the society — high, medium and low classes of society — in the nation’s mining sector.
“But the Federal Government is working together with the state and local governments, as well as the host communities, who have efficient knowledge of the local terrain to address the issue.
“Illegal mining is not exclusive to the high class alone but cuts across the strata of our society. So, we are employing both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies and tactics to address the menace,” Alake said.
He disclosed that the Federal Government would await the final report of the forensic investigations into the causes, effects, and possible remedy to the Bodija estate explosion.
Alake, however, said it was going to be after this that the government would make critical decisions on the unfortunate incident.
“It would be presumptuous for the Federal Government to take any solid pronouncement or categorical announcement now.
“We will examine all the forensic analysis reports and all the investigations from all the agencies and various intelligence arms of the security agencies.
“They are all working round the clock to provide an authentic and viable forensic report to the Federal Government.
“When the reports are ready, the Federal Government will be on a solid platform to make an informed judgment and a categorical statement.
“The final forensic report will also help the Federal Government in making appropriate decisions concerning the victims of this ugly incident.
“Anything before then will be presumptuous and can be misleading at the end of the day,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to be conscious and always report suspicious movements and businesses in their environment, noting that failure to report early always leads to negative results.
“We need to be safety-conscious and develop the attitude of reporting atrocious activities in our neighbourhood.
“For example, no one will expect that such deadly explosives could be stored in an elite estate like this without suspicion,” he said