Minister Vows to Punish Illegal Uranium Extraction in Benue State

Dr. Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, has pledged to take action against those involved in the illegal extraction of alleged uranium in Gwande Local Government Area of Benue State following a thorough investigation.

In a statement released by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Segun Tomori, Alake expressed concerns about the “discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders.”

The Minister’s statement came after hearing submissions from representatives of the affected mining operators and relevant mines inspectorate officials from the State.

The incident gained attention weeks ago when a video showing 15 trucks loaded with minerals, suspected to be uranium and extracted from Kwande Local Government, Benue State, circulated widely.

In response, the Minister initiated discreet investigations by the Mines Inspectorate, revealing that the video stemmed from inter-firm rivalry over control of mining areas.

Alake then summoned relevant stakeholders from the state to ascertain the true situation. However, discrepancies emerged in the accounts provided by representatives of the communities, the operators, and mines inspectorate officials.

As a result, the Minister pledged to conduct thorough investigations and hold accountable those who may have violated the law.

He stated, “I have listened to all submissions and noted discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders. We will thoroughly investigate all issues related to the incident, and any operator found culpable will have their licenses revoked. If some of our officials also connived to perpetrate sharp practices, they will also be made to face the full weight of the law.”

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