The Senate on Wednesday urged the executive arm of government to investigate the alleged annual revenue loss of $9bn to illegal mining and smuggling of gold in Nigeria.

The upper chamber urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts to combat illegal mining and block all revenue leakages from such clandestine activities ,as well as establish gold mining farms to assist artisans and miners.

It also mandated its Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, to investigate all illegal mining and revenue leakages associated with the activities.

The resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by the Senate Chief Whip and former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, during plenary.

Kalu, while presenting the motion, noted that “Nigeria lost close to $54bn from 2012-2018 due to illegal smuggling of gold.”

He added, “The country is said to be losing about $9bn yearly to illegal mining and gold exportation, a huge amount of money unaccounted for through under the radar sales of the expensive commodity.”

The Abia North senator added that “the activities of unlicensed miners were becoming prevalent within the industry and the incessant smuggling of solid minerals out of the country by middlemen and smugglers, is leading to loss of government revenue.”

He said, gold mining operations in the country were capable of providing over 250, 000 jobs and over $500m annually in royalties and taxes to the federal government and as mineral resources.

This, he explained, would further help in diversifying the nation’s economy and improve its foreign exchange reserve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: