23 February 2016, Abuja — Miners under the auspices of the Progressive Miners Association of Nigeria, PMAN, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be cautious of sycophants and cabals in the solid minerals sector, as he moves to diversify the economy.
The National President, PMAN, Mr. Sunny Ekozin, who made the call during an interaction with journalists in Abuja, said the President should exert his constitutional authority over the sector for positive growth and development.
Ekozin alleged that in 1995, when the Ministry of Solid Minerals came on board, some fraudulent persons under the association of Solid Minerals Exporters of Nigeria, cornered about N500 million which late Gen. Sani Abacha gave as stimulus for the sector.
He said: “Based on the current administration, solid minerals and agriculture are the major sectors that can diversify the economy. To us as practitioners in the sector, we know the in and out of the mining sector, and it holds the key to the economic diversification of Nigeria from oil and gas.
Abysmal performance “We believe that the unbundling of the Solid Minerals sector can be a reality, and also we want the highest office of the land to know that when the right thing is done the sector can diversify our economy.
“For the abysmal performance of the sector in terms of contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of the country indicates that the right thing has not been done in spite of the stimulus and funding of the sector.
“There are fundamental problems within the sector and our leaders are not given the true position of things so as to take the right decisions and measures because of sycophants.
The fundamental problem includes lack of ownership responsibility. By the constitution and Minerals and Mining Act, the administration of solid minerals is vested on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Until President Muhammadu Buhari asserts his political will, this sector will remain comatose. All the noise and politicking is going to be stage-managed by the cabals that are in the shadow. If the President takes ownership sanity will come to the sector.”