The Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, has alleged that powerful Nigerians involved in illegal mining were responsible for other criminal activities and involved in sponsoring banditry and terrorism in the country.
He said the majority of the illegal miners were not foreigners, but added that foreigners could be seen as symptoms.
Speaking when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals for the 2024 budget defence in Abuja yesterday, he said the most disturbing aspect was that most of the foreigners engaged in illegal mining in the country had no proper immigration.
The minister added that for mining to generate the requisite revenue, there was a need to have a formal structure that multinationals could deal with, just like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd.
He, however, said that the approach of the ministry under his leadership would be different from NNPCL, adding that the structure being proposed for Nigeria Mining Cooperation would be primarily private sector-driven.