AND MUCH MORE TO GREEDY POLITICIANS: Nigeria loses N8 trillion to illegal gold miners

The country lost $50bn (N8tn) in the last two years to neighbouring countries as a result of illegal mining and exportation of unprocessed gold.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, said this on Wednesday during an interview on the sidelines of the Nigerian-Brazil Investment Forum in Abuja.

He described the loss as monumental, adding that the activities of illegal gold miners were far beyond control.

Awute, however, added that the Federal Government had put in place mechanism to address the problem.

He said, “What the country loses to illegal mining is tremendous; but the truth is that the amount of gold that left this country because of the illegal mining activities was more than $50bn in the last two years.

“The amount of unprocessed gold that has left this country through the neighbouring countries, Ghana in particular, and being processed in Ashanti, is enormous.”

Awute, however, said the Federal Government had begun the process of formalising the operations of illegal miners in the country, adding that such a move would help to generate revenue in the form of royalties to the government.

He said, “The solution to informal mining or illegal mining is to get them formalised and that is what we are doing right now. We have over 600 groups that formed themselves into cooperative societies.

“The most exciting thing is that there is tremendous increase in the percentage of accruable royalties to the government through the regularisation of their activities.’’

Awute pointed out that a road map for the development of the mining sector had been produced by the ministry, adding that the framework would help to set out vital programmes to be implemented in the short, medium and long term.



Via Punch

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