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Federal Government Reveals Plan For Arrested Chinese In Osun

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed that plan to prosecute Chinese and foreign miners caught in Osun and Zamfara State.

The development was announced on Friday, by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite.

The Minister further stated that the illegal miners would be prosecuted at the Federal High Court.

Adegbite condemned the operation of illegal mining activities by foreign nationals despite the ban on illegal mining activities in Zamfara since February 2019.

He added that the illegal miners have been identified as Chinese, Burkinabe, and Senegalese among others.

Adegbite said the Chinese nationals, in particular, lured artisanal miners with money to work for them.

“We are going to go diplomatic by interacting with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria so that it does not seem like we are unfairly targeting their people.”

“We will present the facts to them so that they can also make sure they keep these people in check”

He noted that the collaboration of state governments was, however, needed to address the situation effectively.

The Minister further stated that efforts have led to the apprehension of 17 foreign illegal miners in Osun State while two others have been arrested in Zamfara.

Adegbite further disclosed that as part of the efforts to curb illegal mining activities in the country, the ministry was considering the need to register all local and foreign miners.

He said that the ministry was also in the process of registering all artisanal miners in the country since the government had decided to bring them into the sector’s mainstream.

“We discovered that a lot of the foreign illegal miners were in the country illegally because most of them had visitor visas, which lasted for only six months.”

“The ministry would work with the Ministry of Interior to ascertain the status of foreigners to remove the illegal ones among them,” he added.



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