The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Plateau Command, has warned illegal miners to desist from the act or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
Mrs. Naomi Cishak, the Public Relations Officer of the command, issued the warning in Jos on Wednesday.
Cishak said that the NSCDC, among other functions, had the mandate to protect the solid mineral resources in the country from illegal miners.
He said that the command was determined to checkmate the activities of all illegal miners in the country and Plateau in particular.
She said that with the dwindling crude oil price in the international market, it was imperative for the government to generate revenue from other sectors of which solid mineral sector is one of them.
According to her, more than 15 illegal mining sites exist in eight of the 17 local government areas in the state.
She said that the command had approached traditional rulers to sensitize their subjects and dissuade them from engaging in such illegal acts.
The traditional rulers, she said, argued that mining the natural resource was the only livelihood option for the jobless youths.
She further said that the monarchs had been advised to ensure that whoever was interested in mining mineral resources, should obtain a licence as the resource belonged to the Federal Government and not the individual on whose land it was discovered.
“The fact that a piece of land where there are mineral resources belong to an individual does not make the person the owner of the mineral resources.
“Rather, it belongs to the Federal and state government, but anyone, who wants to mine has to obtain a mining license and in doing so, pay royalty to the government.
“They are expected to pay royalty to the Federal Government for licensing and for what they want to mine.”
The PRO identified the command’s challenges to include inadequate operational patrol vehicles, insufficient rifles and dearth of manpower.
She warned illegal miners to desist from the act, stressing that the corps would ensure that perpetrators were made to face justice.