‘Nigeria loses more revenue to solid minerals theft than oil theft’
Billions of naira are being lost daily across the country to solid minerals theft, far more than the total amount of money dripping out of the country’s coffers through crude oil theft, a member of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said.
Speaking yesterday at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on Gemstones organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council ( RMRDC) in Abuja, Zephaniah Ndaja said illegal local and foreign miners are scooping solid minerals in the country because the federal government has no mechanism in place to prevent solid mineral theft.
Ndaja, who is the Chairman/ CEO of Zaray Gems and Minerals Nigeria Limited, told the participants at the forum that the government is laying too much emphasis on controlling and checking crude oil theft but has done nothing to stop solid minerals theft, which is more alarming.
“In my opinion we lose more money to minerals theft than the so called oil theft,” he said, adding, “Government should therefore give the same priority to solid minerals sector as that of oil.”