The Senator representing Kwara North Senatorial District at the National Assembly in Abuja, Umar Sadiq has expressed fear over the rate of uncontrolled mining activities in his senatorial district, saying it’s posing a serious security threat if nothing is done on time.
Sadiq, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the Media Parliament of the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) held at the Press Centre, Offa Road, GRA, Ilorin.
The lawmaker attributed the rising insecurity in his senatorial district to illegal mining, but noted, however, that he was in constant touch with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State on how to tackle the emerging security challenge.
He admitted that his senatorial district was endowed with large mineral deposits, but regretted that it had not been explored to the advantage of the people in whose area the resources are domiciled.
“Insecurity is a big national problem but in Kwara, we are relatively lucky. It is not as severe as in most of the places affected. But addressing the illegal mining, I’m concerned. I have discussed it with the Governor himself.
“That problem is hydra-headed; powerful people are involved. And it is not new. Anything that brings money anywhere in the world is troubled. They include cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.
“Anywhere people get money, they will fight and do anything. The problem is brewing in our area. And the issue of insecurity in our area is about mining; it is bringing all of those problems. Yes, mining is supposed to be on the exclusive list. But we have not been serious in Nigeria about mining.
“And we all know by now that the amount of solid mineral resources, especially in our great country, is enough to solve our economic problems. We have so much. Luckily, Kwara is one of the gifted States with the resources.
“The government has not been serious. But I can give you some good news. The good news is that the new federal government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu understands this; it means business, and it is serious about it and solid mineral is going to be given serious attention”, the Kwara North Senator said.
Senator Sadiq noted that his senatorial district was deficient in the area of infrastructure, saying that it would persist except deliberate sacrifice is made to solve it.
He made known that he sponsored over 25 bills in the Ninth Assembly and a number of motions, adding that he facilitated many infrastructural projects to the zone to bridge the existing infrastructural gap.
He maintained that he also undertook projects such as water, electricity, education and roads among others in various communities of the senatorial district and applauded Governor AbdulRazaq for changing the story of the area for good in the last four years.