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Owners Of Private Planes In Nigeria Involved In Gold Smuggling

Owners Of Private Planes In Nigeria

The State Minister for the Development of Mining and Metallurgy, Uche Ogah, said that the owners of private aircraft in the country are responsible for numerous cases of illegal gold smuggling outside Nigeria.

The RSA disclosed the information to the Senate on Tuesday in Abuja at a hearing to investigate the annual losses of $ 9 billion as a result of illegal mining and smuggling of gold.

Uche Ogah

Speaking at a hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Ogah said that the owners of private aircraft are the masterminds of illegal mining in Nigeria.

Ogah, who lamented the level of illegal mining in the country, said that all efforts to stop the threat have failed because, according to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), it does not have the authority to inspect private planes.

He added that illegal mining in Nigeria began in the early 1980s as a result of the indigenous policies of the military regime in the late 1970s.

He proposed the death penalty as a punishment for offenders, saying “ " Gold smuggling in Nigeria is often carried out using private planes, it is for this reason that the ownership of private planes and operations in the country should be regulated.”

Sahrawi journalists previously reported that Ogah accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, headed by Godwin Emefiele, of not contributing to his success as a minister after leaving the steel and mining sectors.

The minister's attack followed speculation that the politician, who was born in Abia State, is one of President Muhammadu Buhari's appointees struggling to get on their feet in the administration.

He also argued that apex bank is not doing anything for the development of the sector, adding that more investment in research is needed for the development of the sector.

The public hearings were designed to enlist the support of interested parties in the preparation of four draft laws and in conducting an investigation in the solid minerals sector.

The bills included a Bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Mineral Development Corporation for 2021 and a Bill for the establishment of a Commission for the Development of Solid Mining Areas for 2021.

Others were also the Bill to Establish the Bitumen Management Institute of 2021, the Explosives Act of 1964 to repeal and re - enact the Law of 2021, and the urgent need to investigate the losses of $ 9 billion annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.

He said: "Equally, we need to ask the Ministry of Finance to accelerate the export policy for solid minerals, because this is the only way to attract operators to the sector."

Regarding the bill to establish the Nigerian Mineral Development Commission (NMDC), Ogah said that he would like to expand the list of minerals listed there.

He said: "Let's not limit ourselves to just seven minerals, because we have other minerals that are necessary for the industrial revolution.

“We need to think about how to accelerate the development of these mineral resources, and therefore we need to look at the relationship between the ministry and the state governments.

"States should be ready to participate in stimulating the extraction of minerals, and not just talk about the resources mentioned in the states. States should strive for institutions to help encourage the development of solid minerals in their states.

“We need to coordinate all the issues so that we have a clear direction for the growth of the sector."

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