Chief Sunny Onuesoke chieftain, of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has advised that it is time for the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency consider the peoples call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
Onuesoke who addressed newsmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during a solidarity visit to River State Governor, Nyesom Wike while responding to information of Nigeria loosing over N353bn yearly to illegal mining of gold and other strong minerals in Northern Nigeria, affirmed that this revelation has at long last uncovered the trust that Niger Delta oil belongs to all, while solid mineral like gold and others belong to them alone.
He expressed that If not for the killings in Zamfara state, no one would have revealed to Nigerians that some powerful personalities have been subtly mining the country’s gold and getting a charge out of the returns alone without bringing a dime to the table of the country
“Unfortunately inside three years, as indicated by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Bawa Bwari, 18 tons of gold squandered from the nation are worth $1.16bn. At the official exchange rate of N305/$, this gives N353bn as the estimation of gold that illicit miners and smugglers shared with no effect on the nation’s GDP,” he expressed.
He said gold mined in Zamfara state, similar to oil in Niger Delta , is under the select rundown of the Federal Government, focusing on that it is somewhat not clear concerning why oil income is controlled by the Federal Government and later shared as allocation, while gold mined in Zamfara is under the control of people who don’t pay any returns as tax to the Federal government.
Considering why the military never cautioned ‘unlawful miners’ as they do with the “illicit” oil bunkerers in the Niger-Delta, Onuesoke asserted, “We have seen instances of where illicit bunkerers in Niger Delta are arrested, jailed and their property destroyed. Be that as it may, in the North the unlawful solid mineral miners seems to be untouchable.