Zamfara state government says foreigners are fueling banditry and other related crimes in the state by exchanging gold for arms.
It says this has necessitated the move to procurement of gold from artisanal miners.
The government says this will curb the wave of banditry and not desecrate the nation’s constitution.
Addressing a press conference in Gusau the state capital, the Commissioner For Environment, Mines and Solid Minerals says government has taken stern measures to stem the tide.
Nuruddeen Isah adds that the state government has never claimed ownership of its gold fields.
He says the governor’s address on the extent of his administration to participate in the mining process was misunderstood especially by political leaders in the south south region.
The government says illegal mining of solid minerals in Zamfara poses a great danger to the environment and health condition of the people.
It says mining activities began to be pervasive in the state about ten years ago.