Stakeholders have advocated the introduction of mining education in primary and secondary school curricula, as well called for stiffer penalties for illegal miners.
It was disclosed that the country is losing substantial amounts to the activities of illegal miners who are perpetrating the heinous act in collaboration with foreigners.
Disclosing this in an interview with Tribune Online, a New York-based Nigerian chartered accountant, Owolabi Salis said the introduction of mining education in the school curriculum became imperative noting its relevance to economic growth.
Its introduction, according to him, will teach and enlighten younger Nigerians about the gains in the mining sector.”
“Mining education should be introduced in primary and secondary schools and of course the tertiary institutions.
“Mining is key to transforming the earth to usefulness to people. Countries that are proficient in mining train their kids in the area and also make it compulsory.”
He also urged President Bola Tinubu to pay more attention to mining. ” One of the problems of African people is they are not paying attention to how to transform natural resources to human use, for valuable use, it is not only limited to solid minerals. It includes precious gems in the ocean.”
He, therefore, stressed the need for the Federal government to be proactive in its efforts to curb what he aptly described as illegal activity.
On the activities of the illegal miners, Salis said many Nigerians are not aware that illegal miners, especially foreigners in collaboration with some bad eggs in the country, are responsible for over 60 to 65 per cent of the insecurity confronting the nation.
Salis said these illegal miners often instigate, fund and orchestrate communal clash(es) to displace people from their land to get illegal access to natural resources.
Salis who faulted the Federal Government’s 30-day ultimatum to illegal miners in the country said the country is losing billions of dollars to the illegal act.
“Nigeria is losing billions of dollars owing to the government’s negligence of the mining sector. Several factors are bedeviling the mining industry, two of them are illegal mining and smuggling of precious gems, aquatic animals, wild animals and others out of Nigeria.
“Nigeria is losing billions of dollars every year due to our negligence in the mining sector. The authority has not controlled the issue of mining, which is also creating a security threat.
“Most of these illegal miners operate without government’s approval and they are masterminded by foreigners in collaboration with local lords.
“The foreign illegal miners are the ones funding insurgency to displace people from their communities, to gain access to carry out the illegal mining. They will invade the village to displace innocent people, especially where they discover valuables and raw materials.
“All these international criminals are at the forefront and the Nigerian authority does not pay attention to it.”