• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Foreigners earn more from mining than Nigerians – Akpabio

Akpabio’s 10th Senate breaks tradition, operates without legislative agenda

Godswill Akpabio, president of the Senate, said on Tuesday that foreigners earn more from the Nigerian mining sector than the citizens.

Akpabio said Nigerians were rather left to grapple with insecurity despite the huge potential of the mining industry as a huge foreign exchange earner for the country and a catalyst for social inclusion and empowerment.

Akpabio made this assertion at a three-day investigative hearing on Nigeria’s mining sector by the Senate committee on solid minerals in Abuja on Tuesday.

“As usual, more foreigners are earning in mining than Nigerians. Instead, what they left us with are tales of woes and insecurity.”

“We can no longer overlook the immense potential of this sector. Our beloved country, blessed with abundant mineral resources, has the potential to become a global powerhouse in the mining sector. However, to realise this potential, we must confront the challenges that hinder the growth of this sector”, Akpabio said.

He said the investigative hearing presented an opportunity to ask tough questions, identify the challenges and develop effective strategies to overcome them.

Akpabio, therefore, charged stakeholders at the hearing to actively engage in the deliberations by providing perspectives, insights, and recommendations invaluable in shaping the future of the mining industry and propelling the economy towards new horizons.

He stressed the need to transform Nigeria’s mono-economy currently solely dependent on crude oil, into a fully diversified economy

“Let us engage in constructive dialogue, share best practices, and explore innovative solutions that will infuse the mining sector into the very bloodstream of our economy”, Akpabio said.

Ekong Sampson, chairman, of the Senate committee on solid minerals, said Nigeria was losing revenue daily to illegal and undocumented mining.

The chairman said the essence of the three-day investigative hearing, starting from Tuesday, was to review mining policies and regulations, identify bottlenecks and opportunities in the mining value chain.

Sampson said the committee would investigate the causes of the dwindling revenue drivable from solid minerals and review the activities of industry players.