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Senate committee uncovers locals, foreigners collusion in illegal mining, vows a clampdown

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The Senate Committee on Solid Minerals said it has uncovered an ongoing collusion between some Nigerians and some foreigners for illegal mining in some parts of the country.

It vowed to come up with measures to tackle the menace which, according to it, has ripped the country of its mineral wealth without corresponding accruals to national revenue.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ekong Sampson, stated this during the committee’s meeting in Abuja.

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It could be recalled that the Senate had in 2023, mandated the committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the dwindling revenue derivable from solid minerals development in the country as well as the extent and impact of illegal mining activities and the extent of complicity of both local and expatriate industry players.

The Committee chairman frowned at issues of illegal mining, noting that the security problems it has posed in the country can never be overemphasized.

Sampson decried the recent Ibadan explosion which he said was caused by irresponsible and illegal mining behaviour, adding that disjointed mining operations in the country have become a new cause of insecurity, with threats to loss of lives and property.

He explained that reviewing and streamlining mining activities will reposition the solid minerals sector as the sector that has the potential to generate huge revenue for the country.

Sampson pledged his Committee’s resolve to stamp out illegal mining, and holistically look into the extant Mining Act, to review it through proper legislation, in line with best practices.

He also condemned the behaviour of some industry players in the mining sector, who disregarded the committee’s invitations, with some even threatening legal actions, once they were invited for interactions.

He warned that the Senate will not be fettered in its investigations, despite petitions by some of these operators.


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