Business Hilights

Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online


(Analysis) While Northern Precious stones are for few, Southern oil for all?

Ad 2
Ad 3

An issue many so called public affairs analysts hardly look at has been the way and manner the exploration of certain minerals are being handled by the Federal Government.
Whereas the lion eyes of the government had always been on oil without catching the so called oil thieves, the same government has continued to look sideways on the exploration of precious stones in many parts of the north.

There was a foreign report few years ago that revealed that foreign currency earnings by precious stones thieves in parts of the north are over enough to settle all the nation’s debts both local and international, but due to where the crime is being committed, government has remained adamant to act for the interest of the entire nation.

Another revelation of the report was that majority of the endless insurgency and banditry are domiciled in areas where these stones are being mined as a strategic security structure to perpetuate the criminality of illegal mining endlessly.

While in the South, people stealing oil are branded oil thieves, in the north, government never agreed that there are illegal mining operations going on not to talk of precious stone thieves.
For instance, Californium, one of the costliest precious stones is currently mined in Gwoza area of Borno State, but the Federal Government has continued to give blind eyes to it. The same thing is happening to illegal gold mining in parts of Zamfara State.
However, the bobble seemed to have burst few days ago as the controversy on whether precious stones are being illegally mined in Zamfara may have been finally laid to rest following arrests of three truckloads of the solid minerals.
Otherwise, the Zamfara State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), reportedly impounded three trucks loaded with precious stones.
The Commandant, Muhammed Muazu who confirmed this at a news briefing in Gusau on Monday, stated that the trucks, carrying precious stones, were intercepted in Gusau on their way to Sokoto as the drivers had no legal documents for security clearance.
The Commandant said: “We have no problem with the drivers or vehicles, rather the owners were to provide the necessary evidence that will permit them to engage in the business.”
According to him, for every person or cooperate body to take part in the transaction of any mineral deposits must meet up with following requirements: –
License to possess and purchase minerals, Evidence of Royalty payment, Mineral Title if the Solid mineral is coming from a legal source, Agent movement permit and Mineral buying center certificate.
Muazu maintained that if those documents are not presented, the drivers and whosoever involved would be prosecuted while the truck and its content impounded by the Federal Government as the law stipulates.
He said the trucks impounded and their drivers have an ultimatum of seven days to provide legal documents for engaging in the act else they would be prosecuted.
The commandant warned truck drivers to avoid conveying any mineral resources, except if the owner provides legal documents to them.
He called on the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to sensitize their members on the danger and legal implications of moving mineral resources without necessary documents of the law by the Federal Ministry of Mining and Solid Minerals.
Upon these revelations that translate to pure economic sabotage, there had not been any federal response to the development, quite unlike when oil thieves are caught in Niger Delta.

Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.