The Senate on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to develop a national legal framework in response to illegal artisanal mining.
The lawmakers frowned at a situation where illegal mining operations have become the trend in the country without any revenue accruals to the government.
The resolution was sequel to a motion titled “The need to check Illegal Mining activities in the country,” sponsored by Senator Ya’u Sahabi (Zamfara North).
The senators expressed concern that as a result of illegal mining operations, the solid mineral sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country has dwindled over time, submitting that while Nigeria gets less from the sector, other African countries enjoy significant contribution from the sector to their GDP.
They cited countries like Botswana, Congo and South Africa where solid minerals contribute substantially to their Gross Domestic Product.
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Apart from the loss of revenue that should accrue to the coffers of government, the senators further noted that “illegal mining not only breed criminality but also exacerbates into full-scale terrorism and insurgency witnessed in these states, especially, Zamfara State, where the state of insecurity could be traced to these illegal mining sites.”
The Senate equally expressed concern that the occupational health and environmental impact on the country was incalculable as witnessed in the tragic lead poisoning that claimed several lives in Zamfara state.
Apart from calling for a national legal framework on mining, the Senate called on the Federal Government to further clean up the affected areas of the lead poisoning in Zamfara state and rehabilitate the victims of the aftereffect of lead poisoning and environmental degradation in Zamfara state.