Sam Ikeotuonye 11 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Though the 1999 Constitution made mining an exclusive right of the Federal Government, it has said it will use administrative procedures to get state governments involved in the development of the sector.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated this as he signed an agreement in Abuja on behalf of the Federal Government, handing over a minerals buying centre in Sokoto State to the state government.
The mining centre is one of the 10 built by the Federal government across the country to standardise production and ensure fair remuneration for artisanal miners, mining cooperatives and operators for their products.
The minister said the Federal government is handing over the centres to the states to foster wholesome development of the mining sector.
While signing the agreement with Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Dr. Fayemi said the centres were being ceded to the state governments as part of Federal government’s renewed effort to strengthen collaboration with the states in natural resource governance.
He revealed that Ebonyi, Sokoto and Zamfara states had earlier indicated interest and the centres were being transferred to them.
According to him, the move spike mining activities across the country, thereby improving productivity.
He also stated that as part of efforts to drive development of the mining sector, the Federal government had adopted the strategy of encouraging state government to form special purpose vehicles with other stakeholders to operate mines.
Sokoto State governor Tambuwal had last year at another forum sought Federal government’s support for artisanal miners in the state.
Speaking at a 2-day workshop on Special Purpose Vehicles, SPVs, in the development of mining sector in Sokoto, he said his government would work with the Federal Government to formalise and manage the activities of artisanal miners in the state.
According to the governor, the state government would also work with defence and security agencies to curb illegal mining in the state.
Alhaji Bello Goronyo, Sokoto State Commissioner for Solid Minerals and Natural Resources Development, said the planned collaboration between the state and the Federal government as announced by Governor Tambuwal was part of efforts by the nation to diversify their economies through effective use of the solid mineral resources.