The Federal Government has announced plans to hold a crucial retreat to address grey areas in relations between the federal government and states on managing challenges of the mining industry.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake disclosed that he has initiated talks on the retreat between the Ministry and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State.

Receiving Katsina State Governor Dikko Umar Rada in his office, Alake emphasised that the federal government places premium on Katsina in its plans for the development of the mining sector because of large deposits of viable minerals.

Reiterating that solid minerals belong to the exclusive list, Alake urged states to seek the approval of the federal government before making policy pronouncement on mining activities.

” If a state notices that an operator is conducting his operations against laid down procedures or regulations, we must be notified. Once we are notified, even if the state wants to take action, we give them our blessing, “Alake added.

In his remarks, Gov. Rada lauded the minister for his efforts to reposition the mining sector, expressing the state’s readiness to partner with the federal government to harness its mineral resources for the benefit of the state and the nation.

The governor sought the assistance of the federal government to tackle insecurity in some parts of the state, stressing that poverty, injustice, and illegal mining are major factors fueling the menace.

Gov. Rada also urged the minister to revoke licenses of operators that refuse to develop or commence projects and investigate instances of operators parading dubious letters of consent from host communities.

In his response, Dr. Alake stated that the recently inaugurated Mining Marshals will curb the activities of illegal miners in the state, noting that with the revised guidelines for Community Development Agreements (CDA), letter of consent from host community is now mandatory before application for mining license.

Dr. Alake further stated that with Governors nominating the chairman and five out of ten members of their state’s Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), sub-nationals can play pivotal roles in regulating the activities of mining operators in collaboration with the federal government.

” When the composition of members of MIREMCO is largely nominated by the Governors, then the states can use that agency to monitor the activities of miners and also be able to influence their operations in the state”, he said.

The Minister urged Katsina to take a cue from other states that have applied for mining licenses to operate as a limited liability company, assuring the governor of expeditious approval.

Segun Tomori

Special Assistant on Media
Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development

2nd May, 2024.

Leave a Reply