- A lot of rich Nigerians use their private jets to rob the entire country billions of dollars every year
- The minister of state for mines and steel development, Uche Ogah, revealed that the aircraft is sometimes used to smuggle gold
- Ogah is of the view that the federal government, to curb this, must establish a special security agency that will police mines
Uchechukwu Ogah, the minister of state for mines and steel development, has made a disturbing revelation about gold smuggling in Nigeria.
The minister on Tuesday, September 14, disclosed that some private jets in the country are used to illegally transport the precious stone, Daily Trust reports.
Ogah said this during an investigative hearing on $9 billion annual loss to illegal mining and smuggling of gold organised by the Senate.
The minister noted that this act robs the federal government of billions of foreign currency annually and as such, perpetrators must be punished severely.
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In his submission, he stated:
“Gold smuggling in Nigeria is often done using private jets, the very reason why private jets ownership and operations need to be streamlined in the country.
“For these crimes to be fought decisively, potent punitive measures like capital punishment need to be legally provided for.
He added that this trend thrives because some security operatives work with persons who are into this evil trade, Punch added.
Ogah, therefore suggested that for this menace to be eliminated, there must be an established federal mines police, special tribunals to try criminals, proper funding for the ministry, and the reorientation of citizens on the issue.
Nigerian banks, FG in talks to make gold jewellery collateral for small business loan
Meanwhile, the minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the government plans to make access to credit easier for small and medium businesses by making deposit money banks collect gold jewellery as collateral.
Adegbite said plans are being made to effect the exchange of loans for gold. He stated that Nigerian banks and his ministry had started discussions on the initiative which will boost the sector.
Following an agreement between the ministry and the financial sector, the lenders would offer small and medium enterprises certificates after receiving the gold jewellery. This certificate would be used by the business owner to apply for a loan.