Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Akwa Ibom State Command, said it would henceforth extend its security checks to cover solid minerals.
Commandant of the corps, Emmanuel Ojeniyi, said this yesterday in Uyo while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command.
Ojeniyi said the country can no longer depend solely on oil for revenue and therefore there is need for the agency to brace up and protect solid minerals as a source of revenue.
He said the commandant-general of the corps has directed all commands to, not only protect oil installations, but also solid minerals, even as the country tends to be falling back on such natural resources to generate revenue.
According to him, solid minerals in Akwa Ibom include; clay, limestone, laterite, kaolin, granite, lignite and sand.
He stressed that it was the duty of the NSCDC to ensure that these natural resources are properly regulated so as to be beneficial to the government and the people.
Ojeniyi advised that people who are interested in mining any solid mineral should approach the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development for license to carry out such business as illegal miners would be duly prosecuted.
“It is now our duty to cooperate with the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to make sure that those who are not licensed are not the ones going round to dig our minerals. There is no state that does not have enough solid minerals deposit, but there are hoodlums who do not have any other job other than to sabotage the efforts of government.
“That is the reason why the minister has mandated the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to make sure that all those who are digging these minerals on their own without the permission of the government are arrested and prosecuted.”
The commandant urged Akwa Ibom people not to destroy, but protect oil pipelines and other solid minerals in the state.
He expressed the command’s readiness to partner with the government to ensure that solid mineral deposits generate revenue for the state.
The Officer in charge of the department, Mr Ime White, urged the media to assist in sensitising the people on the activities of the command, especially the protection of solid minerals.
“By the Land Use Act, anything that belongs to the government; you need to obtain licences to operate on it. Nobody is struggling the land with you but because it is the property of the federal government, you must obtain the necessary license that would give you the right to operate,” White said.

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