President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that the Federal Government will no longer tolerate illegal mining and other improper activities inhibiting the growth of Nigeria’s solid minerals sector.

The president gave the warning after receiving a briefing from top officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, led by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk.

The president, who noted that the mines and steel sector was very important for the diversification of the economy, expressed displeasure at Farouk’s report that the sector had been overrun by illegal miners.

“This is one of the most demoralising briefs I have received. The biggest threat to this country besides the Boko Haram is unemployment and the mining sector is key to employment creation.

“We cannot be held back on such a strategic industry that can give us much needed jobs and promote economic growth.

“There must be more seriousness in running this country and we are determined to instill that seriousness,” the President said.

The Permanent Secretary had said Nigeria’s mining sector had been infiltrated by “illegal aliens” who carried out unlawful mining activities in the country.

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