Sahabi urges FG to develop legal framework in response to illegal artisanal Mining.
Words: Ihegazie Hope Chidinma
Senator representing Zamfara North, Sen. Ya’u Sahabi has urged the Federal Government to develop a National legal framework in response to illegal artisanal mining in the country.
Sahabi said this on Thursday in a motion titled “The need to check illegal mining activities in the country” and was co-sponsored by Senator representing Sokoto North, Sen. Ibrahim Gobir and Senator representing Abia North, Sen. Kalu Orji Uzor.
Sahabi explained that Nigeria is rich in over 40types of minerals with solid minerals sector proving to be a potential source of economic development and diversification of the economy in the country.
He disclosed that the objective of the National Policy on Solid Minerals is to ensure orderly development of mineral resources for the country.
He said, “Illegal mining sites not only breed criminals 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.
“Due to illegal mining, the solid mineral sectors contribution to the gross domestic product GDP of the country has dwindled over time, showing that Nigeria gets less from the sector, other African countries enjoy significant contribution from the sector to their GDP.
“Despite causing the National GDP to be unattainable, the affected states especially Zamfara state is greatly short-changed economically, adding that the occupational, health and environmental impact on the country is incalculable as witnessed in the tragic lead poisoning that claimed several lives in Zamfara State not too long ago”.
He worried that over the years, Illegal mining activities has continued to increase across the country especially in Niger, Plateau, Zamfara, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states respectively where it thrives without check.
He therefore called upon the Federal Government to further clean up the affected areas of the lead poisoning in Zamfara State and rehabilitate the victims of the after effect of the lead poisoning and environmental degradation in the State.