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    EFCC vows to tackle illegal mining, non-payment of royalties in Kwara

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    By Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

    The Zonal Commander, Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Michael Nzekwe, has promised to strengthen the existing collaboration and synergy between the Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) towards tackling illegal mining and non-payment of royalties by miners in Kwara State.

    The EFCC Zonal Commander stated this while playing host to the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Ibrahim Muhammed, who was at the Commission’s Office in Ilorin, the state capital, on a familiarisation visit.

    Nzekwe, who described the NSCDC as a strategic partner in the fight against corruption, said: “One of the critical areas that we will want to seek your collaboration is in the area of illegal mining. As agencies of government, part of our responsibilities is to check corruption and preserve sources through which government generates revenue for the wellbeing of its citizenry. We cannot, therefore, sit back and watch people divert or pilfer what is meant for government into personal use.

    “The law made it compulsory for miners to pay royalties to the Federal Government. The Federal Government is losing a lot to the illicit activities of illegal miners, not only in Kwara State, but also across Nigeria. If due processes are followed and royalties are paid, it is not only the Federal Government that will benefit, but also the State Government that is entitled to 13 percent derivation of the royalty paid to cater for its people.”

    The Zonal Commander, who described the inability of some of the miners to pay royalties as economic sabotage, said the Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC would keenly keep watch over the activities of illegal miners in Kwara, Ekiti and Kogi States which are under his Command with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice.

    He expressed delight over the cordial relationship between the Commission and the NSCDC, particularly the recent deployment of some of the personnel of the Corps in assisting the Commission in guiding some of its forfeited assets spread across the three States under the Command.

    Responding, the Kwara NSCDC boss, Commandant Ibrahim, commended EFCC for promoting inter-agency synergy in the fight against corruption, saying his visit was to familiarise himself with military and paramilitary formations following his recent transfer to Kwara State.

    While calling for further ties between the EFCC and the NSCDC, Ibrahim said the collaboration became imperative “as no agency can do it alone”.

    End

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