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Reps urge FG to declare state of emergency on mining sector

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the mining sector to address the menace of…

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the mining sector to address the menace of illegal mining which is causing revenue losses to the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims at the plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the motion, he said there is an urgent need for a focused intervention and radical measures to address the issues affecting the solid mineral sector and its underperformance.

He made reference to the NEITTI 2022 report which revealed that the mining sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 0.63% or N1.1 trillion. 

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He said, “In terms of contribution to government revenue, the report disclosed the solid minerals sector contributed just 2.62 per cent of the government’s N6.63 trillion total revenue.

“The loss of revenue through unregulated and illicit mining operations with the federal government disclosing that unlawful mining costs the country $9bn each year, with the only money coming from a 3 per cent royalty paid by the few licensed miners. This hampers the country’s ability to maximize the benefits from its mineral resources.” 

According to the lawmaker, the negative impacts of illegal mining have led to insecurity and conflicts over control of mining sites and their resources. 

Halims said: “As a result of the high spate of illegal mining and other criminal activities affecting host communities, governors of Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states have signed executive orders banning illegal mining in their respective states to protect host communities and regulate mining activities in their respective states.

“The time is now for the federal government to take immediate and decisive actions to revitalize and develop this critical sector for the overall benefit of the Nigerian economy and its citizens.”

The House adopted the motion and urged the federal government to make a special intervention in the 2024 budget to provide for the establishment of minerals monitoring and inspection offices equipped with qualified manpower and equipment/infrastructure in the 109 senatorial districts of the country.

It also called on the federal government to set up a special security task force for a two-year life span comprising the military, DSS, immigration, Civil Defence and the mines police to embark on a sweeping exercise to flush out all illegal miners.