All miners and mining investors in Zamfara have been directed to vacate sites as directed by the federal government.
Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, Nigeria’s Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development
Bwari gave the directive on the sideline of the groundbreaking ceremony of AG Vision Mining site in Suleja, Niger.
The Federal Government had announced the suspension of all mining activities in Zamfara within 48 hours.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, who gave the order on behalf of the government, said the suspension was part of measures to check banditry in the state.
Adamu stated that the suspension of mining activities followed intelligence reports linking armed banditry with illegal mining activities in the state.
Bwari described the suspension as a `necessary step to curb banditry in the state.
“The suspension is for the betterment of miners, our dear state and the country at large, security agents will soon find a lasting solution to the situation.
“It is unfortunate that mining activities had been distorted in the state, even legitimate mining investors have stopped activities for the past two years ago due to banditry, he said.
The minister said the directive became necessary to protect the lives of the people and said: “While pursuing economic activities, we must also consider lives of the people.”
“We have communicated with miners to comply and shut down their mining activities within 48 hours as directed by the government.
“Although, we know the pains of shutting down mining activities within 48 hours, we are sure that it will not be long for the security agents to flush out bandits.’’