BusinessOil & GasTop News

Senate Intensifies Investigations Into Mining Sector

...Says Some Nigerians Colluding With Foreigners To Rip Off Nation

The Nigerian Senate has frowned seriously at the attitude of some Nigerians who collude with unscrupulous foreign elements to rob the country of its mineral wealth without the corresponding accruals to national revenue.

The Senate is also alarmed at the security problems posed by illegal mining in the country and has vowed to intensify investigations into the management of the sector in the interest of the country.

Senate and mining sector

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Ekong Sampson, summed up these positions during a meeting of the Committee in the National Assembly on Friday.

Senator Sampson said that reviewing and streamlining mining activities will reposition the solid minerals sector.

“It would be recalled that the Senate, by its resolutions at plenary late last year, mandated the Solid Minerals Committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the dwindling revenue derivable from solid minerals development in the country and review the activities of policy administrators, policy executors, and industry players at the policy formulation, policy execution, and downstream, midstream, and upstream operations of the solid minerals sector.

Related: Nigeria Solid Mineral Sector Untapped Gold Mine – Senator Sampson

Others were to ascertain the extent and impact of illegal mining activities and the extent of the complicity of both local and expatriate industry players, as well as review all the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) privatisation or commercialization programmes of all mining and mineral resources-related programmes from 1999 to date.

Senator Sampson re-emphasised that the solid minerals sector had the potential to generate huge revenue for the country but bemoaned, however, that the industry was still being bedevilled by the unwholesome activities of some of its operators.

The Committee Chairman decried the recent Ibadan explosion, which he said was caused by irresponsible and illegal mining behaviour.

The Committee highlighted that these disjointed mining operations have become a new cause of insecurity concerns in the country, with threats to the loss of lives and property.

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

Read Also: Senate to Harness Solid Minerals To Boost Nigeria’s Economy, says Ekong Sampson

Senator Sampson equally condemned the behaviour of some industry players in the mining sector who disregarded the Committee’s invitations, with some even threatening legal action 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.

The Akwa Ibom South Senator hinted at plans to hold regular roundtable discussions with relevant agencies, experts, industry players, artisanal miners, and other stakeholders to further compare notes on how best to reposition operations in the sector.

Other members of the Committee, including the Vice Chairman, Senator Mustapha Khabeeb, Senator Aminu Tambuwwal, Senator Onawo Ogoshi, Senator Diket Plang, and others who spoke, offered their insights on ways to further reposition the nation’s solid minerals sector for greater efficiency and pledged to work with the Committee Chairman to attain the set objectives.

Related Articles

Back to top button