Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday, delegated its committee on Solid Minerals to investigate cases of illegal gold mining activities in Osun State.

The committee was mandated to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to determine holders of mining licences operating in the axis.

This resolution was adopted after a motion moved by Lawrence Ayeni (APC, Osun) was considered and adopted, Premium Times reported.

Mr Ayeni, in his motion, said some individuals and organisations had embarked on illegal exploration of land, not just in Ilesha, but the “entire Ijesha land”.

He said the activities of illegal miners have caused untold hardship on the villagers who have been forcefully displaced and dispossessed of their lands.

In addition, he said the illegal mining is causing “environmental hazards/natural disaster such as landslides, earthquakes, erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals released during the mining processes.”

The motion was put to vote without debate as Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila described it as straight.

Illegal mining
Despite several legislative interventions in the mining sector, illegal mining remains rampant across the country.

Two weeks ago, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogah, said illegal miners are conniving with security-officers in carrying out their activities.

He disclosed this at the investigative hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals into the alleged $9 billion lost to illegal mining.

In April, the governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, inaugurated a committee called the Osun Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) with the mandate to tackle illegal mining.

PT

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