Corruption Alert: FG Urged To Take Urgent Action Against Illegal Gold Mining In FCT Community

The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has been urged to revisit the corruption report exposing illegal mining of gold in Kundu community of Kwali Local Area Council, Abuja

An investigative report published by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) over a year ago had exposed that Kundu community in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, was losing revenue from its gold deposits to illegal miners. The Ministry was said to have rebuffed the report when ICIR contacted them and took no action to date.
Speaking during PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on Radio produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, on Wednesday in Abuja, Secretary-General of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) FCT Chapter, Adogba Ogar, called on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to revisit the corruption investigation by ICIR which exposed illegal mining of gold in Kundu community for onward action.
Ogar, who believed that the Kundu community was collaborating with the illegal miners to carry out the act, called on the residents to be sincere. He urged the community to formally write to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and MAN to notify them of the corruption while asking ICIR to liaise more with the Ministry.
“I advise the ministry (Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) that they should revisit that investigative report, and there may be some specific things that they have to do. They have to revisit that report.
He commended ICIR and PRIMORG for exposing such illegality, adding that “such report is needed to help the mining sector and the affected community. The community also should be sincere and honest before reporting such a case.”

PRIMORG Tean and discussants during Public Conscience on Radio

According to a native of Kundu community (name withheld), the illegal gold mining activity is still going on and endangering their health and means of livelihood. He noted that outsiders and not the indigenes were perpetrating the unlawful act.
His words: “What is happening is that people are coming to mine in our community and they are not indigenes, and they take away the goods.
“They are coming from Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna. Our people are complaining because they are spoiling our only source of water supply.”
He agreed to go back and write a formal complaint to security agencies over the ongoing illegal mining activity while calling on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, as well as security agencies, to look into the investigation by ICIR and save the community.
On his part, an investigative journalist with ICIR, Marcus Fatunmole, revealed that illegal gold mining in Kundu community has persisted and worsened by the day with the federal government, security agencies, and the community doing nothing tangible to forestall the fleece.
Fatunmole, who blamed the ongoing illegality on regulatory failure, faulted the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for failing to take action against the corruption happening in the community even after the ICIR investigation.
He stressed that FCTA and the Federal Government risk further loss of revenue if nothing is urgently done, lamenting that residents of Kundu community were abetting the unlawful act.
“Nigerians should be reminded of what happened in Zamfara in 2010, where over 400 children died as a result of gold mining and the WHO also warned that almost 850 thousand people are at risk of mercury poisoning in Nigeria and FCT is among the 12 states that were listed,” Fatunmole warned.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogah, had in September 2021 disclosed that Nigeria was losing $9 billion annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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