The Government minister of Province, Federal Ministry building of Mines and Steel Evolution, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, on Tuesday, in Abuja insisted that working capital penalization against illegal miners is the strong way of stopping fleecing of land’s resources in the mining and solid minerals sector.
This was fifty-fifty as he said that the ministry building has projected N7.3billion as internally generated revenue, IGR for 2022 financial twelvemonth.
Ogah, who spoke when he appeared before the Senate Commission on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Evolution and Metallurgy, to defend the ministry building’s 2022 budget, maintained that this was invariably way of raking in the required revenues from the sector.
According to the government minister, the projected N7.3billion in 2022 will be N1.1billion higher than N6.2billion generated and remitted for 2021.
He said the total budget profile for the ministry building and 10 agencies under it for the 2022 financial twelvemonth is N23.4billion out of which N10.3billion is earmarked for personnel cost, N1.7billion for overhead and N11.4billion for working capital projects.
The estimates, he explained, is in relation to a billion naira lower than the N24.44billion appropriated for the ministry building and agencies under it in the outgoing 2021 financial twelvemonth.
The Commission chaired by Senator Tanko Al-Makura (APC Nasarawa S), notwithstanding tackled the government minister on the projected revenue and the menace of illegal mining in the country.
A fellow member of the commission, Senator Francis Fadahunsi (PDP Osun East) told the government minister that the N7.3billion revenue projections was not impressive against the backdrop of illegal mining happening in the sector with reckless abandonment.
“Your ministry building needs to ascent upwards to the challenge of tackling the menace of illegal mining which is robbing the country nil less than N100billion on yearly basis.
“What is expected from your ministry building and various agencies under it as IGR on yearly basis is nil small of N100billion.
“You must liaise with the Ministry building of Interior to curtail influx of illegal immigrants, peculiarly Chinese who have taken over the gold mines across the country fifty-fifty with security backup from armed forces and Law,” he said.
Other members of the commission similar Senators Adelere Oriolowo (APC Osun Due west), Emmanuel Orker-Jev (PDP Benue Northward Due west) etc, also tasked the government minister to ascent upwards to the challenge of insecurity and economical sabotage in the sector.
But the government minister in his response, said solution for illegal mining in the country lies on required laws and penalization against it which according to him, should come up by way of legislation from the National Assembly.
“Required strong laws are needed to face the menace of illegal mining in the sector in cast of working capital penalization against offenders as before proposed before this commission few weeks dorsum .
“We are already collaborating with the Business office of the Government minister of Justice for a bill to that effect,” he said.
On Ajaokuta, he said a Presidential commission is already working on its resuscitation and required memos already submitted to President Buhari for approbation.
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