Pay Up N2trn Mining Debt, FG Warns Miners
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has urged miners and operators in the sector to pay up the N2tn debt it owed the Federal Government.
Alake represented by the Acting Zonal Mines Officer, North-West Zonal Office, Kutman Hosea Ali disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting with Licensed Minerals Holders, Laterite /Sand Operators Dealers in Kaduna State, on Thursday.
He said, “Miners and Operators owed the federal government more than N2trn while in Kaduna State, the debt is over N300bn.
“We have made it very clear that in Kaduna State, every operator should make bold steps and clear their debt.”
The minister also questioned the non-remittance of money collected as royalties and taxes on mineral resources, while promising to penalize defaulting states.
“Let me clarify it, state government and local government are entitled to collect other taxes such as ground rent and other taxes but they are not to collect royalty and tax on mining.
“Any state government or any local government that collects money in the name of royalty or mineral tax will be deducted from the source allocated to the state”.
Recall that THE WHISTLER reported that Illegal miners across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory have been warned to join miners’ cooperatives or face the wrath of the Federal Government.
Speaking on the move to clamp down on illegal miners and non-payment of royalties, Alake directed the Special Mines Taskforce activated in Kaduna to intensify the war against unlicensed mining.
He said, “The Special Mines Taskforce has been activated in Kaduna State and they had commenced operation on the war against illegal Mining and nonpayment of royalties which must be paid monthly as well as other taxes to the government of Nigeria”.
The minister also charged licensed miners to visit the mines office, in Kaduna to collect permits to access the site.
In his remark, the Chairman of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Kaduna branch, Ado Dogo, represented by the Secretary of the association, Kashim Hussaini, alleged that the state government’s interference with the miners became domineering.
“We as miners know we are operating within a state, local government, and even down to villages but sometimes, state governors can stop you from working.
“Meanwhile, this mining operation is what we are doing by contributing to the federation account,” he said.