16 September 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Following the just concluded hearing on the investigation of the loss of $9 billion annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of gold in the country by the Senate, the Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, has advocated a regulatory framework to monitor mining activities in the country.
President of the Association, Alhaji Kabir Kankara made the call at a Parley with Mines and Steel Correspondents in Abuja.
Alhaji Kankara explained that for Nigeria to be able to explore the mining sector adequately, the government must put in place proper regulations to make sure everything in the sector is being checked.
” There must be an improved funding for the mines and steel ministry as well as a regulatory framework to monitor foreigners” Kankara stressed.
The President of M.A.N. who emphasized that there’s no country in the world that is endowed with minerals resources like Nigeria expressed regret that the nation losses billions of dollars annually to smuggling due to improper channeling of the minerals.
He explained that by the Nation’s law no one can be a miner without registering with the Miners Association of Nigeria yet many foreigners were engaged in illegal mining activities in the country.
Alhaji Kankara further explained that ninety-nine percent of rich miners in the country were not members of the Association.
He attributed the challenges of curbing illegal mining to connivance of illegal miners with security officers, lack of adequate manpower, low level technology and invasion of mining communities.
According to Kankara Nigeria has minerals that can’t showcase itself hence the need for provision of adequate logistics, equipment for fieldwork, training and retraining of mining engineers and resuscitation of the revenue generation committee of the ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
He noted that following the destruction that goes on in Mining communities across the country, there are four Bills before the National Assembly for consideration.
These bills are the Nigerian Minerals Development Corporation Establishment Bill 2021, Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission Establishment Bill 2021, Institute of Bitumen Management Establishment Bill 2021, and the Explosive Act 1964 Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021.
He emphasized that these Bills when passed into law would encourage people in communities to go into mining while mineral producing states would be well taken care of.
The Senate had in December 2020, mandated a panel to probe the loss of N9 billion annually as reported by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The mandate was sequel to a motion on illegal mining and smuggling of gold in the country brought by senator, Orji Uzor Kalu.