Nigeria’s Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr Uche Ogah has rendered a damning verdict on those using private jets to smuggle gold into the country.
He advocated capital punishment on the culprits.
Mr Ogah made the remarks at a two-day public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy.
The public hearing was set up as an enquiry into the country’s $9 billion annual loss in mining and gold smuggling.
The minister also recommended harsher punishment for the perpetrators.
“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.
“For these crimes to be fought decisively, potent punitive measures like capital punishment need to be legally provided for,” he said.
He added that smuggling of gold and mining was tantamount to robbing the country of billions of dollars every year.