Senate yesterday summoned the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, over illegal mining of the nation’s solid minerals and the incessant spate of kidnappings in different parts of the country.
This is just as the upper legislative chamber sought solution to the recurring annual floods in the country through a stakeholders meeting to x-ray the problem and profferring a lasting solution to the disaster.
These followed separate motions:”Illegal mining of the nation’s soil minerals” by Senator Duro Faseyi (PDP Ekiti North), “The unfortunate recurrence of kidnapping and hostage-taking in Nigeria – a national wakeup call” by Senator Andy Uba (PDP Anambra South) and “Construction of dams to remedy the perennial flood disasters in Nigeria” by Senator Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North) respectively.
The Senate expressed concern over what it called illegal plundering of the nation’s solid minerals by local and foreign miners which it said, was recently confirmed by the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals while briefing President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Faseyi, while leading debate on the motion, said illegal mining in Nigeria robs the nation of whopping N8 trillion every two years.
He blamed the menace on weak legislation and poor enforcement of existing laws, adding that the situation militates against diversification of the economy from dependence on oil to exploration of solid minerals especially, in the face of dwindling oil price in the global market.
While lamenting that the federal government seems helpless over the matter, Faseyi said illegal mining had devastated the nation’s economy, polluted the environment and resulting in the death of many Nigerians.
The Senate therefore directed security agencies, especially the IGP to address the activities of miners. It also urged the executive bodies at the federal, state and local government levels to take concrete steps towards ending illegal mining in Nigeria.
Senate also through another motion on Construction of Dams to remedy perennial flood disasters in Nigeria, urged the federal government to convene a stakeholders’ meeting with the aim of securing lasting solution to recurrent disasters in some parts of the country.
It also advised the federal Ministry of Water Resources to revisit the proposed construction of Dasin Hausa Dam and any other dam and as well, address the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun.
Senator Oduah while moving the motion, blamed flooding in Nigeria on the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun which she said, had led to loss of many lives in several communities along Niger-Benue river troughs.
According to her, flooding has resulted in colossal loss of lives and property with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, putting the value of loss to flood in 2012 alone at N2.6 trillion.