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Mining: FG blames illegal artisanal miners for “huge revenue losses” in Mining sector 

The Nigerian Government revealed that the activities of illegal artisanal miners in Nigeria’s mining industry are responsible for huge revenue losses. 

This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe, during the inauguration of the new National Executive Council of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja. 

She added that some members of the National Executive Council of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) prefer to indulge in illegal mining activities, instead of being partners in progress to develop the sector. 

Illegal Mining 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe, gave the warning while Inaugurating the new National Executive Council of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja. 

She also expressed concern over local industries which depend on imported minerals, as their raw materials, despite availability in Nigeria,  as some minerals were exported raw to Asian and European countries at ridiculous prices without value. 

Dr Ogbe  noted that such practice has added to the unemployment rate in the country, and hindered development, she said: 

  • “I seize this opportunity to draw your attention to the disheartening practices of some members of your association who interfere with the mandates of the ministry. 
  • “Some of your members prefer to  indulge in illegal mining activities, instead of being partners in progress to develop the sector. 
  • “This attitude has hindered the sustainable development of the sector and constituted huge revenue losses. 
  • “I urge the leadership of your association to advise its members to shun illegal mining activities. 

She urged that members of the miners association should always collaborate with the ministry to ensure that activities are carried out in line with the provisions of the laws regulating the sector. 

The Chairman, the Board of Trustee (BOT), Alhaji Sani Shehu, earlier called on governments of all levels to work with MAN to enable Nigeria to achieve the objectives of the sector, adding that some mining industries were seriously engaged in illegal mining, adding that government’s support would help to curb the menace. 

He also called on MAN to support the government for effective sensitisation of mining activities to artisanal miners to ensure that their operation is covered. The chairman urged the new electorate to behave well and vote for the candidates of their choice. 

The Chief Superintendent, Import and Export Unit, Tariff and Trade Department, Nigeria Customs Service, Mrs Chibuzo Oguche, said that the service was ready to collaborate with  MAN. 

  • “We are looking forward to a good synergy between MAN and customs because by the time we get to the database of registered miners, we will be able to track those illegal miners.” 

In case you missed it 

Last week, The Nigerian Senate on Thursday discussed a bill that would create a Solid Minerals Development Commission and ban foreigners from engaging in artisanal mining.  

The Bill which was sponsored by Senator, Mohammed Onawo of Nasarawa South is to tackle alleged illegal mining by foreigners in the country, adding that the bill has been listed for first reading and titled “Solid Minerals Development Commission”:  

  • “The bill will be taken for the first time; this bill is to create a solid minerals development commission that will bring about the unification and improvement of solid minerals in Nigeria.” 
  • “We are a very rich nation naturally; God has endowed us with almost everything but the way we are harnessing it is what is making our people poor by the day.” 

 

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