Federal Government loses N3tr to illegal gold, lead mining, others
• FEC approves N987m to procure surveillance vehicles
The Federal Government yesterday declared it lost about N3.23trillion ($9billion) in revenue that should have accrued from gold exports, putting the blame on activities of illegal miners.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, gave the indication after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fayemi who disclosed that lead, zinc, tin and coal were also affected by the loss, said: “ The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has just released its report, which made it clear that in 2014 and 2015, what we lost to illegal mining operation was somewhere in the region of $9billion, particularly from illegal gold exportation.”
He said the council approved N987 million to buy 50 vehicles for a surveillance task force to curb the illegal activities.
“What this memo that went to council requested was approval of 50 Hiace vehicles for a special mines surveillance task force to capacitate them in their work, to monitor and curb illegal mining activities in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“And also to support the collaboration between the federal and state governments via the mineral resources and environmental committee that the mining Act has allowed to be set up in all the states.
“So, this memo went to council for procurement of these 50 Toyota vans for the sum of N987million at the set price of about N19.3million per vehicle. It forms part of an overarching framework because council underscores the fact that this one vehicle per state cannot solve all the problems. We need to start somewhere. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that we deploy technology to monitor illegal activities across the length and breadth of Nigeria and through that enhance security services.”
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed that council approved N606 million to the contractor of the Gurara-Abuja water pipelines for a nine-year operating and maintenance arrangement.
He said the amount would be paid by his ministry in collaboration with officials of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enable the Federal Government take over management of the project.
Earlier, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah, said the council also approved the second National Action Plan and the integrated Operationalisation Plan for Executive Order 1. President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday tightened the noose on anti-corruption drive with the setting up of an audit committee to harmonise all recovered stolen assets within and outside Nigeria.
The three-member committee including Olufemi Jinadu, Gloria Chinyere Bibiogha and Mohammad Nami, expected to submit its report to the President within four weeks was inaugurated at the former First Lady’s Conference Room in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Inaugurating the panel before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, President Buhari lamented that despite government’s initiatives aimed at recovering mismanaged and misappropriated national assets identified by the current administration upon assumption of office, gaps still exist in ensuring that the recoveries are accounted for, and managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner.
The president explained that the decision to set up the audit panel on the recovery and management of stolen assets within and outside Nigeria is aimed at ensuring that all returns filed by the various agencies are accurate and consistent with actual recoveries made.
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