Alhaji Sani Shehu, President, Miners Association of Nigeria, has appealed to traditional rulers and local governments to desist from preventing licensed miners from operating in their mining jurisdictions.
Shehu said in Abuja that some traditional rulers, in collaboration with local governments, made it difficult for legal miners to operate in their localities.
He said many instances of this nature were recorded in Niger and Zamfara, when the association had to intervene.
“We have recorded many examples of traditional rulers and local government chairmen preventing our members from operating, even after fulfilling communities agreement; this is a big challenge that our members are facing.”
” Most times the traditional rulers and chairmen give unnecessary excuses for preventing our members from mining; they also encourage illegal miners to mine for them to benefit,” he said.
He also appealed to the government to intervene, as some of miners were currently finding it difficult to operate in their mine sites because of the prevention by some chairmen and traditional rulers.
He called on the Federal Government to beef up security, law and order in all mine fields across the country to allay fear of attacks in its members.
He called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, formalise artisanal miners into cooperatives, to reduce illegal mining across the country.