Illegal miners conniving with security officers – Minister

One of the challenges facing the federal government in the fight against illegal mining is that illegal miners connive with security officers to carry out their illegal activities, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogah, has said.

He listed lack of adequate manpower and low level technology for the ministry as other challenges faced by the government.

He made these comments at a two-day public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy.

The hearing is aimed at investigating the loss of $9 billion annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.

It was organised to allow relevant agencies make their inputs into four bills namely; 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.

The Senate had in December 2020, mandated the panel to probe the loss of N9 billion annually as reported by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

The mandate was sequel…

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