The Nigerian Government may have been losing hundreds of billions of dollars to illegal mining activities, as the recent closure of two culpable companies indicates.
Last month, the Minister of Mines and steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi reported that two illegal mining companies- Solid Unit Limited and Geotess Nigeria Limited that were shut down in Zurak, Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State , had handled minerals worth over US$2 billion.
Sixteen Chinese nationals and eight Nigerians involved in massive illegal mining were arrested in Zurak, on August 15 at the wake of the shutting down of the two companies on the orders of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Minister when the duo visited some illegal mining sites in the richly endowed lead/zinc belt.
This development comes as Nigeria is moving heaven and earth to realise the full potential of its mining sector, to diversify dependency on crude oil experts. Over the past fifty years, the government have overlooked the mining sector due to billions of revenue from crude oil experts.