FG prosecutes 18 Chinese, 36 Nigerians for alleged illegal mining activities

The Federal Government has disclosed that 18 Chinese nationals and 36 Nigerians were currently facing prosecution for engaging in illegal mining activities.

This came as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, approved N2. 328 billion for the purchase of 50 operational vehicles for anti-smuggling task force as well as 81 units of two bedroom residences for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) resident in Abuja.

Also, the government yesterday said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was technically shortchanging the three tiers of government through remittances into the federation account.

Briefing newsmen, the Minister, ‎Kayode Fayemi yesterday said ‎the government was poised to clear illegal mining operations in the precious menthol and gemstones zone of Sardauna Local Council in Taraba State, to Zurak in Plateau State, “where we have to confront Chinese illegal operators colluding with Nigerians exploiting the lead, zink resources in that area to the gold belt in Zamfara, Kebbi and Ilesha in Osun State.”

Kayode disclosed that the Police were currently handling the case of illegal miners arrested by officials of government.

He said that the kingpin in the illegal mining in Plateau State, one Dan China from Bauchi State had been arrested and that the illegal mining was more on gold and sapphire, adding that the Federal Government has created a new settlement for the artisans in the illegal business.

He said: “About 36 were arrested and we have the mines police there, they are being prosecuted, I believe the police is handling the 18 Chinese being prosecuted.”‎

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun tsaid although government was no longer paying for subsidy on petroleum products, the NNPC was importing at a cost much more higher than the local selling price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also called petrol.

She said as a result of loses being recorded by the corporation from under recovery of revenue from sales, there is negative effect in accruals to Federation Account.

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