Home Business N8 trillion lost to Illegal Mining every 2years, Senate

N8 trillion lost to Illegal Mining every 2years, Senate

by Business News Report

WORRIED by the fall in prices of crude oil and the urgent need to diversify the economy, the Senate yesterday raised alarm that Nigeria as a country was losing a total of N8 trillion every two years following the activities of illegal miners.
The Senate which expressed concern over the activities of illegal miners of the nation’s solid minerals, however mandated its Standing Committee on Solid Minerals with Senator Joshua Dariye as Chairman to investigate the “mindless and unlawful plundering of Nigeria’s solid minerals.”
The Senate also urged the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase and other law enforcement agencies to wake up to their responsibilities of stopping illegal mining in Nigeria as well as arrest them.
They also urged the federal, state and ‎local governments to take concrete steps towards ending illegal mining in Nigeria.
These resolutions were sequel to a motion by Senator Duro Faseyi, PDP, Ekiti North and titled, “Illegal Mining of the Nation’s Solid Minerals.”

In his debate, Senator Faseyi noted that the unlawful plundering of the nation’s solid minerals by state and foreign miners was further confirmed by the former permanent secretary of the ministry of Mines and Steel Development during his briefing of President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the ministry.
Senator Faseyi said, “The illegal mining has resulted in the nation’s loss of N8trillion every two years, thus impacting adversely on the nation’s deteriorating economy. It thrives because of weak legislation and poor enforcement, thus jeopardising the urgent need to diversify the nation’s deteriorating economy.”
He noted that illegal mining has resulted in the devastation and pollution of the environment leading to the death of hundreds of Nigerians with several ‎thousands of others infested with ailments, especially in the northern rural areas, adding that ” if exploited, the mining of the solid minerals legally could boost the economy and create employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.
“The government appears helpless without any concrete strategy in place to tackle this monumental economic sabotage.”
Commenting on the motion, Senate president Bukola Saraki who noted that the government can generate much needed revenue from developing and exploiting the minerals spread across the country, stressed that illegal mining poses serious pollution and health challenges to Nigerians, especially because the illegal miners do not follow standards.
Similarly, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to revisit the proposed construction of Dasin Hause Dam and any other dam as the case may be, to take in flood waters from Lagdo dam in Cameron and all other dams that cause flooding in the country.
This was sequel to the adoption of the resolutions of a motion moved by Sen Stella Oduah on perennial flood disasters in Nigeria yesterday.
The Senator also urged the federal government to convene a stakeholders meeting to examine the recurring situation of flooding in the country with a view to proffering a lasting solution, just as they commended NEMA, PCFR and other relevant agencies, organisations and individuals whose efforts in creating awareness has led to reduction in casualty level.
Also yesterday, the Senate ‎urged its committees on Environment and Water Resources to investigate the causes of a pollution that eliminated all the fishes and other aquatic lives along Ekerekana River and the upper side of River Bonny in Rivers State between July 13th to 17th of this year.
It also directed the operators of Notore Chemical company and the Port Harcourt Refineries to treat their dischargeable chemical components of effluents from their production processes to internationally acceptable standards before discharging them into rivers.
Adopting the prayers of a motion moved by Sen George Sekibo (Rivers, PDP), the senators also asked the National Environmental Standard Regulatory Agency (NESRA) to carry out a holistic appraisal of the effluents discharged into water bodies by chemical industry operators to forestall a future reoccurrence and ensure compliance to their approved minimum standard.
Sekibo had argued that Notore Chemical Company which took over National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) and Port Harcourt refineries Phase I and 2, washed out effluents from their companies into Ekerekana River which transports same to other water bodies in the suburb.
Sekibo who noted that the same water is the major source of livelihood for local fishermen in Okrika, Ogu/Bolo and Eleme local government areas of Rivers State and neighbouring areas, however lamented that since the discharge of the effluent, fish and other aquatic life have been dying, with a notable case recorded between Monday 13th through 17th July, 2015.

“If good measures are not taken to address this unwholesome attitude of the operators of these companies, the good intentions of the federal government in support of mass food production and petroleum products processing may turn to be a curse to the people of these local government ‎areas and environs.”

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