Private jet owners in Nigeria are responsible for gold smuggling – Uche Ogah

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The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, has alleged that owners of private jets in the country are responsible for the high cases of illegal smuggling of gold outside the shores of Nigeria.

Ogah disclosed this to the Senate on Tuesday in Abuja at an investigative hearing on $9 billion annual loss to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.

Speaking at the hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Ogah alleged that owners of private jets are masterminds of illegal mining in Nigeria.

Ogah, who lamented the rate of illegal mining in the country, said all efforts to end the menace have failed because according to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), it has no powers to check private jets.

He added that illegal mining in Nigeria started in the early 1980s as a result of the indigenisation policy of the military regime in the late 1970s.

He suggested death penalty as punishment for offenders, saying, “Gold smuggling in Nigeria is often done using private jets, the very reason private jets ownership and operations need to be streamlined in the country.”

Our Nigeria News had earlier reported that Ogah accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of not contributing to the development of the mines and solid mineral sector.

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