From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has lamented the rising trend of foreign nationals, especially from Asia, invading mining communities across the country.
The president of the association, Kabir Kankara, at an interactive section with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, stated that mining can not explore in the country without a proper regulatory framework.
He stressed that illegal mining in the country is being carried out under the connivance of security operators and wealthy Nigerians, adding that 99 per cent of rich miners in Nigeria are not members of the association.
‘There must be an improved funding for the mines and steel ministry as well as a regulatory framework to monitor foreigners before mining activities can properly function in the country,’ he stated.
He further stated that there’s no country in the world that is endowed with minerals resources like Nigeria, expressed regret that the nation losses billions of dollars annually to smuggling due to improper channelling of the minerals.
According to Kankara Nigeria has minerals that can’t showcase itself hence the need for provision of adequate logistics, equipment for fieldwork, training and retraining of mining engineers and resuscitation of the revenue generation committee of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
He noted that following the destruction that goes on in Mining communities across the country, there are four Bills before the National Assembly for consideration.
These bills are the 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.
He emphasised that these Bills when passed into law would encourage people in communities to go into mining while mineral producing states would be well taken care of.
The Senate had in December 2020, mandated a panel to probe the loss of N9 billion annually as reported by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The mandate followed a motion on illegal mining and smuggling of gold in the country brought by Sen Orji Uzor Kalu.