14 September 2021 By James Itodo…
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Doctor Uche Ogah has advocated capital punishment against illegal mining and smuggling in the country.
Doctor Ogah who made the declaration at an investigative hearing on the $9billion annual loss to illegal mining and smuggling of Gold, organised by the Senate Commitee on Solid Minerals , Mines , Steel Development and Metallurgy, called for capital punishment for offenders .
The minister alleged that Gold Smuggling in Nigeria are aided by Private Jet Owners .
According to him , illegal mining in Nigeria , started far back in the early 1980s as a result of the indiginization policy of the military regime in the late 1970s .
The menace he explained , was prompted by the inability of indigenous workers to obtain mineral titles and required technology for mining used by the British miners before the indiginisation Policy .
He lamented further that Gold Smuggling and Illegal Mining which are robbing the country of billions of dollars on yearly basis , thrive due to series of factors like alleged connivance of security agencies with the offenders , host communities collaboration , low level of application of technology and negative mindsets of Nigerians to Nigeria .
In his closing remarks , the Chairman of the Committee , Senator Tanko Al- Makura said for thorough investigation of the menace and the way out, heads of relevant government agencies , would be summoned for more clinical interface .
By James Itodo…