By Muhammed Nasiru Adejoh.
The Deputy Majority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives and member representing Ankpa, Omala and Olamaboro Federal Constituency of Kogi State, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency in the mining sector.
The Deputy House Leader made the call through a motion that urged the Federal Government to make a special intervention that will facilitate the establishment of Mineral Monitoring and Inspection Offices across the 109 senatorial districts of the country in the 2024 budget estimates in view of the significant economic potential of Nigeria’s Solid Mineral Sector towards the expansion of the nation’s revenue base.
According to Rep. Halims, whereas the vast mineral resources in Nigeria can play a critical role in diversifying the economy, creating jobs and boosting revenue generation, they are largely untapped and underutilized as a result of the current challenges bedevilling the solid mineral sector because of illegal mining activities.
He further noted that the loss of revenue occasioned by unregulated and illicit mining operations costs the country $9 billion annually with only 3% royalties paid by a few licensed miners and by implication hinders the country’s mineral resource utilization.
After questions were put to and agreed on the motion, the House resolved to urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Mining Sector as well as constitute a special security task force with two years life span comprising the military, Department of State Security Services (DSS), Immigration, Civil Defence and the Nigeria Police Force to flush out all illegal miners.