The house of reps has resolved to probe the reported loss of N50 billion in gold tax revenue and illegal mining in Nigeria in the last five years.
The resolution was sequel to a motion raised by Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma from Edo state during plenary on Thursday.
Agbonayinma said the nation’s mining industry is heavily under-utilised despite the need to diversify the nation’s resources.
The lawmaker also said reports from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) indicated that “Nigeria lost about $9 billion to illegal mining operations and gold exportation from 2014 to 2015”.
He also quoted a report from Signal One International (SOI), a US-based company, as saying in a 2016 report that Nigeria has lost “over $50 billion” in gold revenue tax in two years as a result of illegal mining and exportation of unprocessed gold.
Aminu Shagari from Sokoto state said Kayode Fayemi, former minister of mines and steel development, had pointed out illegal mining as one of the key challenges hindering the developement of Nigeria’s mining industry.
“In fact some of the recent killings are linked to illegal mining. There should be ways of curbing the excesses,” he added.
Beni Lar from Plateau said even though such illegal practices experienced in the mining industry “is the same within the oil and gas sector”, there is a better tracking of oil and gas.
“More should be done to secure the industry,” she added.
Thereafter, the house directed relevant committees to investigate the revenue leakages in the mining sector especially through illegal mining and report back within six weeks.