By Aliyu DANLADI
Chairman, Miners Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, Alhaji Lawal Mayere, , has called on the Federal Government to urgently address “incessant smuggling of solid minerals” out of the country.
Mayere made the call on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the rate at which solid minerals were being smuggled out of the country was alarming and this could affect the contribution of the sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
According to him, some foreigners engage artisanal miners by giving them money as gratification to encourage them to mine minerals, especially gold, for them.
Mayere said that: “Sometimes Senegalese and other foreigners encourage our artisanal miners to mine for them and also buy the minerals they mined.
“This is what is in vogue.
“They lure them with money on the condition that the minerals would be sold to them and there would be no refund of money even when no mineral was found.
“This is the game that foreigners are playing with our artisanal miners now. This is what we see on daily basis; they get our minerals at very cheap prices.’’
“Government can give artisanal miners money to mine minerals and buy them at good prices to encourage them.
“This will safeguard our minerals and the sector can also contribute to the economy,’’ Mayere said.