The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on Wednesday made some recommendations aimed at addressing illegal mining activities in Nigeria.
Its outgoing National President, Mrs Alaba Lawson, made the recommendations in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Lawson called for the implementation of real policy papers on various mineral resources deposited across the country as part of the measures to tackle illegal mining.
She also called for a monitoring team that would ensure strict enforcement of the policy papers to maximise the full capacity of mining in the country.
“Each local government has been endowed with what we really need in terms of mineral resources as a nation.
“It is very important that real policy papers that will be well implemented on the mining of all mineral resources be put in place.
“Mining has the capacity to generate, even more revenue than what crude oil is currently giving the nation.
“But, the Federal Government must with sincerity of purpose come out with a policy paper that must be monitored up to implementation level,” he said.
Lawson further called for the formation of a body to be recognised by the government with the capacity to work with the organised private sector to reduce the exploitation of the various natural deposits.
According to her, this will ensure that the natural resources mined are handed over to the government through the recognised body and the equivalent rate of the mineral resources will be paid to the artisans.
“All these artisans mining and the rest need to form a union that will be recognised by the government, and it should be one that the organised private sector too can work with.
“If the natural resources are being taking good care of by ensuring that it is not just exploited or carted away illegally, then, our economy would grow.
“In Ghana, any union mining gold takes it to a central body, and it is bought from them at the current rate to discourage illegal miners from selling it to someone else.
“I also want government to impose stiff penalties on those carrying out illegal mining.
“By the time a penalty is imposed on all these illegal miners, I think they would sit up,” she said.