The Federal Government has issued a warning against illegal mining activities that are disrupting Nigeria’s valuable $700 billion industry. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Mary Ogbe, conveyed this message during the inauguration of the new National Executive Council of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja.
Represented by Deputy Director Mr. Okhuoya Sunday, Dr. Ogbe expressed concern about local industries relying on imported minerals as raw materials, even though such minerals are abundantly available within the country.
She highlighted that some minerals are being exported in their raw form to Asian and European countries at significantly low prices, depriving Nigeria of their true value and contributing to unemployment within the nation.
Dr. Ogbe addressed the disheartening practices of some members of the Miners Association who engage in illegal mining activities instead of collaborating with the ministry to advance the sector. Such actions, she emphasized, hinder the sustainable development of the mining industry and result in substantial revenue losses.
According to the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Nigeria’s mining sector possesses 44 commercially viable minerals, making it worth an impressive $700 billion. In 2022 alone, the sector generated over N7 billion in revenue from royalties and fees, a significant increase from the N2 billion generated seven years ago.
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