Shortly after taking the oath of office on Thursday, November 2, 2023, Senator Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan representing Kogi Central senatorial District made a major contribution to 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 the oil and gas sector is situated in the Southern part of the country, Nigeria has the solid minerals up North, adding that the host communities and their rights must 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 communities where we are only interested in extracting the resources, we would ignore the fact that some of these resources are hazardous to our environment and they could cause pollution thereby endangering the health of our people especially children.
She further added that ignoring these negative impacts could lead to a situation which is presently playing out in the Southern part of Nigeria primaryly in the Niger Delta region, whereby the waters, the land and others are polluted.
Senator Natasha further sought for the expansion of the motion to include policies that will curb environmental degradation, the consideration of host communities’ rights.
Making reference to the Itakpe iron mining company and the Ajaokuta steel complex in her senatorial district, 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 the sector such as rare earth minerals