The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja said that illegal mining of solid minerals had deprived the country of about 500,000 jobs.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Solomon Maren (PDP-Plateau).
Maren stressed the need to curb the activities of illegal miners in the country.
The lawmaker said the mining and solid mineral sector was a multi-billion naira sector that was being undermined by the activities of illegal miners.
“These illegal miners are reducing Nigeria’s stake in solid minerals and other raw materials and also depriving the country of about 500,000 jobs for the teeming unemployed youths,’’ he said.
He said that the illegal miners do not contribute to the development of host communities as part of corporate social responsibility.
Maren also noted that the activities of illegal miners had exposed host communities to hazardous environmental conditions.
The House in its resolution, urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the solid minerals sector to help diversify from oil to non-oil sources of revenue for the country.
The House also mandated the Committee on Solid Minerals Development to investigate the activities of miners, their collaborators and sponsors as well as the extent of involvement of foreign and local firms and report back within four weeks.