Mining Potentials: FG to collaborate States for Economic Growth
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu has said that the Federal Government is ready to partner States and other relevant stakeholders in the mining and metal sector to develop the country’s economy.
He, however, said there is need for state governments especially, to abide by the Constitution and the Mining Act, saying that mining is in the exclusive list.
He emphasized the need for States and the Federal Government to work together as partners to stimulate and promote the growth of the sector for the benefits of all.
Mu’azu made the emphasis in his opening remarks in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday at the 3rd National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD) meeting.
The three-day council meeting which is being hosted by the Ekiti State Government is themed: “Nigeria Minerals and Metal Sector: Spectrum for Investment Opportunities for Economic Growth and Development.
The Perm Sec reiterated that no state in the country has the exclusive right to its solid mineral resources which he said belong to everyone.
He explained that it is the exclusive right of the Federal Government to manage and control all solid and mineral resources in the country, adding that revenue generated and royalty paid by states, were however, shared among the three tiers of government.
The Perm. Sec. said there is need for collaboration with states and key government agencies to address the issue of mining securities and how to safeguard the environment.
“We have to focus on environment and discuss how the various governments can contribute to provide infrastructure for the country’s economic development”, he emphasised.
He charged participants at the meeting to discuss value addition and ways of converting challenges posed by artisanal miners into opportunities, which according to him, would enhance job creation in the sector and bring people out of poverty.
Mu’azu said mining stakeholders had spoken so much about potentials in the mining sector, saying that it was time they began to walk the talk.
“It is time to change the narrative and go into action, begin to walk the talk, we all have to come together, this country need to diversify and the mining and solid mineral sector holds the potential for diversification,” he said.
He added that the Federal Government was relying on the solid mineral sector to diversify the country’s economy and to improve the living standard of Nigerians because of its potentials.
Mu’azu noted that many countries including South Africa and Australia depended on mining to develop their economies, adding that Nigeria could do same.
The three-day council meeting which is expected to end on Friday, is being attended by State Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries in charge of mining and mineral resources from the 36 states of the federation, academia, private sector, security practitioners and leaders of mining unions.
Discussions at the meeting are focused on strategies for sustainable mining and value addition; addressing security challenges in the sector and how to foster synergy among the three tiers of government, among other things
However, the stakeholders at the meeting advocated for regular review of the Mining Act 2007 to accommodate the roles of states in mining.
For: Director Press