Challenges of Enforcement of Government ban of illegal Mining in Taraba State, Nigeria

  • E.D. Oruonye Ph.D Department of Geography, Taraba State University, Jalingo Taraba State, Nigeria.
  • D.G. Musa PhD Department of Geography, Taraba State University, Jalingo Taraba State, Nigeria.
  • Y.M. Ahmed PhD Department of Geography, Taraba State University, Jalingo Taraba State, Nigeria.
Keywords: Artisanal mining, common pool resources, degradation, illegal mining and small scale mining.


The solid mineral resource exploitation landscape in Taraba State has been dominated by the activities of small scale miners. The Nigerian government have put in place several mining laws and regulations to guide the exploitation of the solid mineral resources in the country, Taraba State inclusive. Despite this, illegal mining has been on the increase across the State. The study is anchored on the theory of the tragedy of the commons developed by Biologist Garret Hardin in 1968 to describe the issues with common property resources and the deterioration of renewable free access resources. The study adopted the qualitative research design approach using desk review of existing literature, field observations and key informant interview. Data was analyzed using the content analysis method. The findings of the study reveals that the Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral Resources does not have the capacity to effectively police the illegal mining sites in the State. So many illegal miners have been arrested over the years, many of whom were bailed and others made to pay fine. However, the enforcement of the ban on illegal mining activities has not been effective. Some of the challenges of effective enforcement of the ban include lack of adequate funding, lack of adequate manpower, difficult terrain and absence of good road network in the LGAs where illegal mining activities are taking place, high level of political connectedness and state protection the illegal miners enjoyed. Other challenges include involvement of foreign corporations in illegal mining, lack of prosecution of arrested illegal miners over the years, structural problems with Nigeria's fiscal federal system and porous nature of Nigeria’s border. Based on the findings the study recommends the need for formalization of the artisanal small scale mining activities, compelling prospective mining companies to present evidence of processing of the minerals, Nigerian government to consider amending the mining act and to deal with involvement of foreign nationals through diplomatic channels, collaboration between the federal and state governments and Nigeria government to modernize the mining sector.


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Author Biography

E.D. Oruonye, Ph.D Department of Geography, Taraba State University, Jalingo Taraba State, Nigeria.

Department of Geography, Taraba State University, Jalingo, Nigeria


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How to Cite
Oruonye, E., Musa, D., & Ahmed, Y. (2023). Challenges of Enforcement of Government ban of illegal Mining in Taraba State, Nigeria. GPH-International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research, 6(11), 01-12.