Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Worried about the upsurge in the activities of underage and illegal miners in the country, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, has instructed operators to report the use of sub-miners as a matter of priority seniors in the sector to security agencies.
Ogah, who condemned in very strong terms the activities of certain operators, urged stakeholders to now report anyone found guilty to the competent authorities.
The minister who was on a three-day working visit to Edo State revealed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
He highlighted the government’s policy direction and urged operators to honestly report their monthly mineral production and pay the correct amount of royalties due to the federal government.
The minister also encouraged operators to always stay in close contact with federal state mining officials and seek clarification on any issues they were unclear on.
According to him, the huge and abundant mineral resources spread across all parts of the country, especially in Edo State, have the potential to transform the country’s economy, develop infrastructure and increase gross domestic product. (GDP) of Nigeria.
While seeking the support and cooperation of the state government to accelerate the development of the huge commercial deposits of major minerals like limestone, talc, dolomite, gypsum, feldspar, quartz, gold, stones precious minerals, bentonite, bitumen, sharp sand, kaolin, granite and other solid mineral resources in abundance in the state, the minister noted that the state could rank second among mining states in the country if its minerals are properly mined.
The Minister further disclosed that the purpose of the working visit is critical and strategic in the development of the solid minerals sector, as Edo State has many untapped minerals which once galvanized will reach its “sheet of paper”. 30-year development road” in the areas of “Human capital development and vision of Edo State apart from oil revenue; transformation of education through Edo-BEST and improvement program health; improved service delivery systems, tax and revenue collection reforms, and economic transformation initiatives through modern agriculture and state industrialization.
He noted that the current level of mining operations in the state could be doubled through mutual collaboration and cooperation between the federal government, state, local governments and mining investors in the state.
The minister therefore urged the governor to ensure that the new partnership between his ministry and the Edo State government is maintained to promote the sustainable development of mineral resources in the state, adding that “the collaboration would increase the revenue generation, would promote the sustainable growth of the mining sector”. , create employment opportunities for the many unemployed young people in the country and provide economic empowerment to host mining communities, which would lead to a reduction in the poverty level of rural communities.
In his address, Governor Obaseki said the visit could not come at a better time as the state is fully committed to diversification.
He said, “Edo is a naturally endowed blessed state and we have taken our destiny into our own hands to diversify, focusing on solid minerals.”
The governor assured that the state is ready to collaborate in the development of the mining sector in the state and implored that Edo State be used as a model of collaboration and coordination of the federal government for the optimization of the generation revenue in the industry, adding that “Edo is ready to start over to get it right.