The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has discovered that some precious minerals were being smuggled out of the country without records of revenue and tax to show for it.
The Minister who disclosed this during a one day working visit to Kurupka site in Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger on Monday, said that the government would put a stop to this illegality by formalizing all illegal sites in the country.
According to him, Gold which is a vital mineral, is not on the record of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and is being mined in the site.
“Gold is being smuggled out of the country to other countries without tax, record and revenue to show on a daily basis from the mineral that we are endowed with; this will no longer be acceptable.
He said the ministry would begin to revoke all dormant mining licences this week while it would begin formlisation of illegal miners into a structure to enable them to earn their livelihood in a safe environment and according to the world standard.
“We want them to form a cooperative to enable us to give them a structure that the ministry can work with and anybody that refuses to be part of the structure will face the law.
“We are not going to allow illegal mining to continue; we will bring it to an end; we are not depriving them, but we want to meet up with the Mining Act of 2007," he said.
He promised that the Federal Government would devise means of assisting them with necessary equipment and financial support among others.
Mr Edward Danladi, the Vice Chairman, Miners Association of Nigeria, called for synergy among the federal, states and other stakeholders to help tackle illegal mining in the state and other parts of the country.
Danladi called on the ministry to provide adequate inspection vehicles for its staff in the state for effective monitoring of areas under exploration lists.
He explained that the illegal miners were mostly sponsored by the Chinese, Botswana, Cameroonians and Niger Republic citizens.