The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has said that miners and operators in the sector owed the Federal Government more than N2 trillion.
This is as the minister stressed that the current administration of President Bola Tinubu is determined to halt the activities of illegal miners across the country.
Alake described the activities of illegal miners as a huge crime against Nigeria and Nigerians, which he said, was unacceptable.
The minister stated this during a meeting with Licensed Minerals Holders, Laterite /Sand Operators Dealers in Kaduna State, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the minister has directed the Special Mines Taskforce activated in Kaduna State to clamp down on illegal miners and nonpayment of royalties which must be paid monthly as well as other taxes to the apex government.
The Special Mines Surveillance Taskforce is comprised of members from the Nigeria Army, Police, Civil Defence Corp, Department of State Security Services, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Nigeria Immigration Service while the team is headed by Mines officers in the state.
He also faulted the non-remittance of money collected as royalties and taxes on mineral resources to the federal government, warning that defaulting states would henceforth be penalized.
According to him, mining is on the exclusive list as such it is only controlled by the federal government while the state and local governments are not allowed to collect royalties or any mining tax.