Northeast governors raise the alarm over illegal mining

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By Timi Owolabi

Governors of the Northeast states have decried the activities of illegal miners while seeking the urgent intervention of the Federal Government in the region.

They also raised concerns on flooding in the region, noting that it had led to destruction of properties and loss of livelihood.

These were contained in a communique issued at the end of the North-East Governors Forum, NEGF, 8th regular meeting held in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, over the weekend.

The meeting was attended by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima.

DAILY POST reports that others in attendance were the governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe. The governors of Gombe and Taraba were represented by their deputies.

The governors noted that the proliferation of illegal mining in the region is becoming a problem, adding that there was a link between mining activities and insecurity.

The communique which was signed and read by the Forum’s Chairman and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, further stated that climate change and environmental degradation are major issues affecting the region.

The Forum, therefore, called on the respective governments to enforce compliance with the provisions of local consent as contained in Nigeria’s Mining Policy, as well as strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.

On the issue of flooding, the governors said it has been compounded by the silting of rivers as well as deforestation brought about by the massive charcoal business.

The communique said, “Furthermore, there is the need for effective control on deforestation with stern regulation to local authorities against compromise to granting approvals for such business.

“The Forum has resolved to key into the Global Initiative of Carbon Credi, the Great Green Wall and other initiatives that will mitigate the devastating impact of climate change in the subregion.”

Other resolutions during the meeting are: “The Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission to be more proactive with the issues of development in the subregion. Its intervention should be well prioritized in the short, medium and long term to take care of the sustainable development and needs of the people within the subregion.”

“The forum resolved to promote subregional commerce among member States. It further agreed to resuscitate the northeast trade fair to be held in Bauchi in January, 2024.

“The Forum appreciated the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Kashim Shettima for gracing the opening ceremony of the 8th meeting of the NEGF and the Government and People of Borno State for hosting the event.“

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