Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that about 100 kilogram of gold leaves the country everyday without any record, challenging security agencies in the country to come up with technology that could be deployed to track the use of explosives by illegal miners.
Speaking as a guest lecturer at the National Defence College, Abuja on “Solid Minerals and National Development in Nigeria”, Fayemi called for a technological approach to tracking the use of explosives by those who sought and obtained permit for its use so that it does not end up in the hands of those who would use it for criminal purposes.
Fayemi disclosed that part of his tasks as Minister in charge of solid minerals development is to sign explosives permits for use in quarries and mining sites, as well as educate security agents on how to identify these minerals, adding that it is important to also track their use as part of efforts to curtail activities of illegal miners, insurgent groups and violent crimes in the country.
He specifically, pointed out that about 100 kilogramme of gold leaves the country everyday without any record, lamenting that the country was losing a lot to the activities of illegal miners, who are citizens aided by some foreigners, therefore there is need to deploy technology, build capacity of staff of the ministry and get the required assistance from the security agencies to check the situation.
The Minister assured the gathering that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to ensuring that the Ajaokuta Steel Company works, in order to boost the country’s technological development, as it will also help in the areas of arms and ammunition, and be beneficial to the defense industry if gotten right.
According to the Minister, once the regulatory frame work is gotten right and a conducive environment created for investment to thrive, we shall witness huge investment in the solid minerals sector, create wealth and employment opportunities.
He however mentioned that the Ministry was collaborating with relevant security agencies, the Customs, Immigration, Police, Civil Defence, to ensure that the ugly trend is stopped.