• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Alake, 32 governors to form join mining committee

FG faces racketeering, others in mining sector, after tackling payment defaulters
As part of efforts to resolve mining issues between the federal and state governments, Dele Alake met 32 State Governors on Wednesday and reached a consensus to form a joint committee to protect the interest of both parties.
This was the resolution at a meeting, hosted by AbdulRasak Abdulrahman, governor of Kwara state and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum a statement by Segun Tomori, special assistant on media to the minister of Solid Minerals Development Informed
Addressing the Governors, Dele Alake, the minister, of solid minerals development stated that the parley underscored the commitment of the federal government to partner with sub-nationals and get their input in ongoing efforts to reposition the mining sector.
This was part of the Minister’s efforts to apply the principle of cooperative federalism to resolve interferences in mining matters on the exclusive legislative list, the statement informed
Reiterating that solid minerals belong in the exclusive legislative list according to the provisions of the 1999 constitution, Alake advised that states must get the approval of the ministry before making policy pronouncements on mining activities in their domain.
“Our actions, both at federal and state levels, should be guided by the constitution and done procedurally so that we don’t appear to the unsuspecting public as if we are at loggerheads. To ensure that we remove contentious areas, we announced that states are free to apply for mining licenses so that they can become critical stakeholders in the industry and have a sense of belonging. Through that substantial involvement, we expect that they will preserve the operating environment of mining in their state, apart from deriving direct revenue from it,” Alake added.
The Minister also commended sub-nationals that heeded the charge of the federal government and applied for licenses to operate as a limited liability company to mine resources in their states.
According to him, “I have had to approve licenses for some states that brought their applications forward. I made no hesitation in approving such licenses because we made a policy announcement to support the active participation of federating units. This is just part of our efforts to accommodate federating units and ensure that they benefit from our God-given resources.”
Citing the membership of the states’ Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Alake emphasised that with five members and the Chairman, nominated by Governors, the input of states is considerable within the 10-man committee charged with the management of mining activities and addressing attendant environmental issues of mining operations.
The Minister sued for the cooperation of the Governors with the federal government’s efforts to reform the mining sector and ensure that it contributes substantially to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), boosting revenue to the federation account.
In his remarks, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state stressed the need for states and the federal government to work out a template for collaboration, nothing that states should have an input in the process of issuance of mining licenses.
Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, and his Niger State counterpart, Hon. Umar Bago towed the same line whilst also urging the Minister to consider a one-on-one consultation with state Governors to address the peculiarities of challenges facing the mining sector in their states.
Conclusively, the Minister and the Governors’ forum agreed to strengthen engagement and explore a workable template for collaboration to ensure bottlenecks to mining development are dismantled.