The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says the commission is ready to strengthen collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in tackling illegal mining and non-payment of royalties by miners in Kwara.
The Zonal Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the commission, Mr Michael Nzekwe, said this in Ilorin on Friday when he received the commandant of the NSCDC, Mr Ibrahim Muhammed.
Nzekwe said that the NSCDC was a strategic partner in the fight against corruption, saying it is part of their responsibility to check corruption and preserve sources through which government generate revenue.
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 guarding some of its forfeited assets spread across the three states under the command.
“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 generates revenue for the wellbeing of its citizenry.
“We cannot sit back and watch people divert or pilfer what is meant for government to personal use.
“The law made it compulsory for miners to pay royalties to the Federal Government. The federal government is losing a lot to activities of the illegal miners not only in Kwara but in the nation generally.
“If due processes are followed and royalties are paid, not only will the federal government benefit, the state government is equally entitled to 13 per cent derivation of the royalty paid, to cater for and to its people,” Nzekwe said.
He described the refusal of some of the miners to pay royalties as “economy sabotage”, saying that the agency will torchlight the activities of the illegal miners in Kwara, Ekiti and Kogi States, which are under zonal command, with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice.
Responding, the Kwara NSCDC boss, commended EFCC for promoting inter-agency synergy in the fight against corruption.
According to Muhammed, the visit is part of familiarisation with military and para-military formations following his recent transfer to Kwara.
While also calling for further ties between the EFCC and the NSCDC, he said the collaboration became imperative as “no agency can do it alone”, he said.
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