19 Nov 2020

Mining and extractives / Illegal mining and rural banditry in North West Nigeria: responses, successes and challenges

The rise in illegal mining and rural banditry highlights social, institutional and structural governance problems.

Although Nigeria’s artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector has considerable developmental potential, it is undermined by the criminal consortia profiteering from it at the expense of vulnerable populations. In Nigeria’s North West, North Central and, to some extent, South West regions, criminal collaboration in the illegal mining of gold between ‘Nigerians in high positions of authority’ and foreign corporations deprives the state of legitimate earnings. It also drives rural banditry and violent local conflicts. The Nigerian state will need to deal with the illegal mining networks that fuel rural banditry and violence both in the North West region and across the country.

About the author

Maurice Ogbonnaya is a Senior Research Consultant in the ENACT organised crime programme. He previously worked as a policy and security analyst at the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies in the National Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria. He has a PhD in international relations from University of Uyo, Nigeria.

Photo © Adobe Stock – Sean Gladwell


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