Nigeria Creates Special Security Architecture For Mining Sector

mining site

By Stephanie Odiase

The Federal Government has unveiled a new security architecture known as the Mines Marshal, tasked with securing mines sites and rid the nation of illegal miners.

For start, the security outfit drawn from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has 2,220 marshals to be spread across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory. The new Mines Marshal is led by a Commander, Chief Superintendent of Corps, CSC Attah John Onoja.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Mines Marshals in Abuja, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, tasked them to secure mines site across the country as well as to smoke out illegal miners and everyone flouting Nigeria’s mining laws.

The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Abubakar Audi, who represented the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, formally presented the marshals drawn from the NSCDC to Alake.

Extractive360 learnt that there are ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Police Affairs to boost the new security architecture with additional operatives.

Recall that the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, a few weeks ago launched the NSCDC-led mines marshal, at the presidential Inter-ministerial committee on securing natural resources.

Alake charged the Marshals to stem theft and all nefarious activities in the nation’s mineral resources sector in order for the country to maximally benefit from its God-given resources.

“I am very happy to let the public know that from the outset we said are going to tackle insecurity in the mining sector and the first batch of the security apparatus is what we are launching today,” Alake said, while commending the role played by his interior counterpart in the creation of the new Mines Marshall.

The new security architecture is planned to be an inter-agency outfit that will incorporate special operatives from other security agencies like the Nigeria Police, the Army, amongst others; with operations largely driven by technologically.

It is structured to have its command and control domiciled in the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, with a spread across the 36 states and the FCT. An initial 60 operatives will be deployed in each state and the FCT, the minister explained.

The NSCDC Commandant-General, Abubakar Audi, in his remarks, stated that the new security outfit will give vigor to the corps’ mandate of protecting national assets and infrastructure in which solid minerals is a major component.

He explained that the Marshals will liaise with the various states Mine Inspectors for intelligence gathering, and take directives from the ministry for effective execution of its mandate.

Speaking at the event, Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi, commended the initiative and noted that improved security around mining sites will help leap Nigeria’s economic fortunes forward.

“When the Minister reeled out his 7-point agenda during his inaugural address, which included the Mines Police, not a few people were skeptical about it. But today, he has matched words with action,” Gbefwi pointed out.

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