Miners’ Association of Nigeria
, MAN, has decried the rising trend of foreign nationals invading mining communities in the country also stating that rich miners in the country were not members of the association.
This is 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 President, Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, Alhaji Kabiru Kankara during a parley with journalist in Abuja advocated that a regulatory framework to monitor mining activities in the country was much needed.
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 was being checked.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the influx of foreign nationals especially from Asian countries into mining communities in the country adding that illegal mining in these sites were monitored and carried out with the connivance of security operatives and rich Nigerians.
He said that a low level of technology, inadequate manpower, and invasion of mining communities has led to the increasing loss of revenue in the sector.
“There must be an improved funding for the mines and steel ministry
as well as a regulatory framework to monitor foreigners. In the nation’s law no one can be a miner without registering with the Miners’ Association of Nigeria but yet many foreigners are engaged in illegal mining in Nigeria and no one is talking action on that.
“If you go to the mining sites you will see them all over the place taking advantage of of our artisanal miners and that has to stop,” Kankara stressed.
He emphasized that there’s no country in the world that was endowed with minerals resources like Nigeria while expressing 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.
The Miners’ association president 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.