May 28, 2024
House of Rep to dig into illegal gold mining in Osun

House of Rep to dig into illegal gold mining in Osun

Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria

The lower chamber of the Nigeria National Assembly, House of Representatives on Wednesday, delegated its committee on Solid Minerals to investigate reports of illegal gold mining activities in Osun State.

The committee was charged to partner with the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to determine holders of mining licences operating in that part of the country.

This resolution was reached following a motion moved by Lawrence Ayeni (APC, Osun) was considered and adopted.

Ayeni, in his motion, revealed that some persons and institutions had embarked on illegal exploration of land, not just in Ilesha, but the “entire Ijesha land”.

He said illegal mining activities have caused untold hardships and difficulties on the rural dwellers who have been forcefully displaced and dispossessed of their lands.

Ayeni also added that the illegal mining activities in the area is causing serious “environmental hazards/natural disaster such as landslides, earthquakes, erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals released during the mining processes.”

The motion was put to vote without debate since Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila described it as straight to the point motion.

Despite several legislative interventions in the Nigeria mining industry, illegal mining remains serious menace all-over the country.

Just last two weeks, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogah, pointed out that illegal miners are liaising with security operatives in carrying out their criminal activities.

He stated this during the investigative hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals into the alleged $9 billion lost to illegal mining activities.

Gboyega Oyetola, the Osun State Governor, in April, inaugurated a committee called the Osun Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) with the mandate to tackle illegal mining to a standstill in the state.

There are reports of the influx of illegal miners from Zamfara State to Osun State, after the federal government clampdown on illegal miners in the North-west geopolitical zone.

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