01 July 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government cannot effectively regulate the mining sector without working with States, Local Governments and mineral-producing communities.
Professor Osinbajo stated this at the maiden edition of the strategic engagement on Sustainable Mining by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with Local Government Chairmen and other critical mining stakeholders in Abuja.
He explained that the three tiers of Governments, have to jointly develop working arrangements to ensure that mining is attractive to investors, profitable for States and Local Governments, not just from proceeds but also from personal income tax paid to States by mine workers and staff of mining companies.
The Vice President stressed that communities where mines are located must also have some direct benefits apart from jobs for their residents.
“We must find a formula for compensating the communities for environmental degradation and erosion” Professor Osinbajo added.
Professor Osinbajo further explained that there must also be a framework for ensuring that environmental degradation is remedied.
The Vice President added that export of raw minerals, refining, processing or beneficiation must be discouraged as it is the only real way to maximize the nation’s mineral wealth and create good jobs and opportunities for Nigerians.
Prof Osinbajo appealed to the participants to fine tune a clear working document that states the roles and responsibilities of Governments at all levels and the mining communities.
“Even where these roles and duties have been defined in existing legislation, this is an opportunity to simplify the language, explain the relationships, take input on implementation concerns, and get everyone’s buy in” the Vice President stressed.
Vice President Osinbajo who commended the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite and the Hon. Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah, for their initiative urged all officers of the Ministry to rededicate themselves to the realization of the set target of a 6% contribution of the mining sector to the nation’s GDP by 2025.
The theme of the Conference is “Sustainable Mining in Nigeria: the critical role of local governments for realization of economic diversification agenda through the mineral sector”