The Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, says foreign illegal miners are sponsoring banditry in Nigeria.
He stated this while briefing state house correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja on Monday.
He, however, assured that his ministry is taking steps to inject new technologies into the mining sector to tackle the challenge and enable Nigeria to have optimum benefits from the solid minerals sector.
He said his ministry is liaising with the Nigerian armed military and other security agencies in the country to boost security in areas where solid minerals abound in the country.
Alake disclosed that the Federal Executive Council approved a draft policy document on the solid minerals sector which highlights measures to be taken for adequate utilization of the country’s mineral resources.
He expressed optimism that solid minerals will soon become a major source of funding for the country’s budget.