By Favour Nnbaugwu
ABUJA—Federal Government said, yesterday, that the country had lost $50 billion (N8 trillion) through illegal mining and exportation of unprocessed gold to neighbouring countries in the last 24 months.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, made this disclosure in an interview with Vanguard at the Nigerian-Brazil Investment forum in Abuja.
He said: “What the country loses to illegal mining is tremendous. But the truth is that the amount of gold that left this country because of the illegal mining activities is more than $50 billion in the last two years.
“The amount of unprocessed gold that has left this country through the neighbouring countries, Ghana in particular, and being processes in Ashanti gold is enormous.”
The Permanent Secretary said the activity of the illegal miners was beyond control, but assured that government had put measures in place to address the problem head-long.