The minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olalekan Adegbite, said federal government will no longer criminalise the activities of Artisanal Miners in the country.
He disclosed this at a consultative meeting on the formalisation of artisanal miners into cooperatives and small scale miners into larger mineral and financial enterprises.
TVC News Correspondent Joke Adisa reports that over the years, unlicensed hands who mine in the country are tagged illegal miners, risking arrest and prosecution.
The devastating effects of illegal mining activities also stared the country in the face, but the Buhari government says it is having a rethink as a way of creating jobs and empowering the people.
At a consultative meeting, the first of its kind, authorities fashioned out the best way of bringing petty or artisanal
miners under one umbrella for effective monitoring and creating a win win situation on both sides.
Government said it will intensify the latest round of advocacy, recognising that the artisanal and small-scale mining sector is globally recognised as a major contributor to economies in terms of mineral production, employment, poverty alleviation and rural development.