From Esther Akaa , Lafia
The National Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Cooperative Society has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to address the security challenges confronting artisanal miners across the country in order to enable them discharge their duties effectively.
The president of the cooperative society, Alhaji Abdullahi Dantasidi, made the appeal in a statement signed by him and made available to Journalists in Nasarawa State on Tuesday.
According to him, despite being the the first explorers of mineral resources in mining sites across the country, artisanal miners face several hazards in the discharge of their duties such as security, health and environment hazards, calling on the president to address the challenges for the good of the country.
“Our members are exposed to different manners of health and environmental hazards, insecurity threats among others because of the nature of the job and the location of the mining sites which are often in the deep forests.
“I therefore appeal to you sir to take proactive action over the health, safety of artisenal miners and the environmental situations in mining sites where they ply their trade by providing them with safety kits and adequate security,” he said.
He said lack of adequate support from previous administrations had led to huge losses with regards to income generated revenue, adequate skilled manpower among others hence the call on President Tinubu to embrace a different approach on artisanal miners.
“Your Excellency, we are not illegal miners. We are artisanal miners and with your support we can achieve a lot for the country. We have the adequate skilled manpower to make the solid minerals sector a huge revenue generator for the federal government,” he said.
Dantasidi also appealed to President Tinubu’s administration to set up fair and proper marketplace parameters for artisenal miners to sell their products at appropriate prices without been cheated by potential buyers, some of whom are foreigners.
He, congratulated , Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake for his appointment and pledged to work closely with him to achieve President Tinubu’s administration’s set goals in the mining sector.
“I also urge the Honourable Minister to create avenues for both government officials, critical stakeholders to interface with artisanal miners on issues and challenges they face while carrying out their duties.
“An improved synergy between government and artisanal miners will go a long way in boosting the output of the sector and open doors of prosperity and fruitful engagement for both parties.
“This will not only be beneficial to all stakeholders in the sector but also lay a solid foundation for the younger generation who may indicate interest in the mining sector,” he said.