Shortly after her swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, November 2, 2023, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan representing Kogi Central senatorial District contributed on the motion sponsored by Senator Osita Ngwu on the review of the input and output values of the Nigerian mining industry.
Contributing to the motion, Senator Natasha said as much as we have the oil and gas sector situated in the Southern part of the country, Nigeria has the solid minerals up North, adding that the host communities and their rights be duly considered.
Speaking on environmental degradation, Senator Natasha drew the attention of the Senate to the negative impact of these resources.
“If we close our eyes to the cries of the host community where we are only interested in the extracting these resources, we would ignore the fact that some of these resources are hazardous to our environment and they could cause pollution thereby endanger the health of our people especially children.
She further added that ignoring these negative impacts could lead to a situation which we presently have in the Southern part of Nigeria primary in the Niger Delta region, whereby the waters, the land and others are polluted.
Senator Natasha further seeks for the expansion of the motion to include policies that will curb environmental degradation, the consideration of host community rights.
She lamented that ever since the large expanse of land were carved out of her local government not a penny has been paid since the 1970s to the host communities.
In addition, she urged the Senate to consider an advanced seismic reports on solid minerals, that will include emerging discoveries in this sector such as rare earth minerals.