Illegal mining: IYC, PDP chieftain call for resource control
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, have reiterated their call for a restructuring of the country to include resource control.
IYC President, worldwide, Pereotubo Roland Oweilaemi, Esq and Chief Sunny Onuesoke in separate statements made available to journalists in Warri on Saturday insisted that with the news of illegal mining activities in the North rife, it was time to restructure the control for each state to harness and control its resources.
“With the rather surprising news of illegal mining activities in the Northern part of the Country where powerful individuals are allowed to tap the natural resources in their domains, IYC is calling on the Federal Government to commence the amendment of the Constitution by allowing States to harness and control the resources in their domains.
“This call is becoming imperative due to the fact that Niger Delta people want to control the resources in their lands since solid minerals in the North are now reduced to individual ownership in spite of the enabling laws in the country vesting ownership of natural resources in the Federal Government,” IYC President noted.
Onuesoke, while reacting to the information of Nigeria’s loss of over N353bn annually to illicit mining of gold and other solid minerals in Northern Nigeria, disclosed that it has finally revealed the belief that Niger Delta oil belongs to all, while solid minerals like gold and others belong to them alone.
According to him, but for the killings in Zamfara State, nobody would have told Nigerians that some powerful personalities have been secretly mining the nation’s gold and enjoying the proceeds alone without bringing a dime to the table of the nation
“It is amazing that within three years, according to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Bawa Bwari, 18 tonnes of gold frittered from the country are worth $1.16bn.
“At the official exchange rate of N305/$, this gives N353bn as the value of gold that illegal miners and smugglers shared without any impact on the country’s GDP,” he stated.