15 October 2020 By Georgina Humphrey
In continuing effort to create a robust interface and engagement among stakeholders in the Minerals sector, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has concluded a 2-day sensitization meeting with State Commissioners for Justice, Minerals and Environment from the North-Central Geopolitical Zone.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press in the Ministry , Mr. Edwin Opara says the sensitization was geared towards enhancing ease of doing business in the sector.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, in his opening remarks, said the meeting was to rub minds, proffer solutions or make clarification on seemingly misunderstanding of policy implementation on roles of the Federal and State Governments in mining operations.
“We are here to exchange ideas, know your concerns, get to understand each other’s roles and how to work together for the benefit of all,” he said.
While urging participants to feel free to bring to the fore issues of their concern, the Minister said all issues raised would be addressed within the ambit of the nation’s Constitution and the Nigerian Mining Act.
Reacting to some comments including amendment of the Exclusive list section on minerals in the Constitution, so that the States would have participatory roles in mining, the Minister said doing so would amount to selfishness and detrimental to the economic system.
He explained that oil revenue that is derived from a section of the country is being used for the overall development of the Country, and that now that attention is focusing on the development of the minerals sector for revenue generation, it must be use for the common good of all.
He said that royalties and other revenues generated from solid minerals mining is paid into the consolidated fund which is shared in accordance with derivation principle during monthly revenue allocation sharing.
Adegbite urged the participants to always cross-check from their respective State Commissioners of Finance to know how much revenue from minerals their States get monthly.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, said the meeting was timely as it will boost efforts to foster the required synergy and understanding between the Federal and state Governments in carrying out mining activities in the country.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluwatoyin Akinlade, said the sector has the potential to revamp the nation’s economy hence the present administration has picked it as one of the focused sectors in the diversification of the economy.