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Senate summons Minister over poor revenue arising from Illegal mining

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The Senate has summoned the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, over activities of illegal miners which has led to great loss of the revenue in the country.

The joint Senate committees working on the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper took the decision following the failure of the Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Obadiah Nkom, to furnish the committees with required explanations on the low revenues being generated in the sector and the menace of illegal miners across the country.

Nkom had in his submissions before the joint committees said in 2019, N2.58bn revenue was generated and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

He said the amount reduced to N2.3bn in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that it had already started increasing in 2021 with N3.166bn realised as of July this year out of the targeted N4bn.

Obviously not satisfied with his submission, the Chairman of the joint committees, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, and other members, wondered why the agency could not generate revenue beyond the threshold of N4bn to N5bn.

Adeola said, “The revenue generation is low and not impressive at all because big companies like Dangote Cement, BUA and others, with combined yearly profits of about N5trn, are under your purview.

“These are apart from other companies carrying out illegal mining activities across the country that are not captured in your revenue generation.

“A lot of Chinese are involved in illegal mining in the country without your agency or any other one saddled with regulation of the sector, doing anything as far as licensing them and monitoring their explorations in form of collection of royalties are concerned.”

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