•Commiserates with families of victims, Miners, affected community
•Reiterates commitment of govt to development of mining sector, calls for calm
The Director General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Mr Alex Nwegbu, has condemned what he described as the unprovoked attack on miners in Janruwa community of Kaduna State on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The attack led to the death of 14 miners.
Nwegbu made these remarks in a statement issued on Friday by the Director, Nigerian Geosciences Information Center, Abuja, Mrs. Bola Akinwande.
He further described the incident as very unfortunate, as it happened at a time when government is doing so much to ensure that miners in the country are provided with all necessary paraphernalia needed to get the best outcome on efforts.
He said. “I recall that only recently, government strengthened security in the minefields by providing several vehicles to mines inspectorate officers across the states of the federation as well as strengthening the inter-ministerial Special Mines Surveillance Task Force (SMSTF). These efforts are aimed at bringing to the barest minimum mine related crimes.
“Other programmes of government are the World Bank-funded Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver) which has as one of its key targets, the provision of facility support to mines operators in the country. Government has also provided the sum of five-billion-naira intervention fund for mining value chain support. This is a joint effort between the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Bank of Industry”.
Nwegbu stressed that the commitment of Government to the well-being of miners in the country cannot be questioned especially at this very crucial time programmes to re-invigorate the mining sector is gaining traction.
It is therefore disheartening, he said, to hear that while the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is making and executing serious policy decisions for the betterment of the sector, some retrogressive forces aim to kill miners.
According to the NGSA boss, it is unnerving to know that at any given time, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency has several personnel on the field gathering geoscientific data that will be useful in guiding government and investors in the realization of Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda.
“We understand how it hurts, yet we want to call on all stakeholders not to be distracted by this very unfortunate incident, but to continue to work together toward the actualization of set goals for development of the mining sector.
“We commiserate with the Janruwa Community, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the families of those who lost their lives in the attack,” he added.
He appealed for calm even as we understand how painful it is to lose breadwinners in an unprovoked attack, and we are sure that security agencies are working to bring the culprits to book.