The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has called for a halt to illegal mining activities, saying they offer no benefit to both federal and state governments.
Adegbite stated this yesterday in Lafia, Nasarawa State, during a courtesy call on the state Governor, Abdullahi Sule, aimed at exploring the possibilities of working on the mining sector in the state, saying the Federal Government needed to work with the states to ensure that mining activities are properly carried out to the benefit of the operators and the three tiers of government.
The minister called on the artisanal miners to form Cooperative Societies or Joint Venture Companies in order to interface with the government in terms of training and equipment for operations.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is sincere and determined to diversify the economy by exploring the possibilities of creating employment in the sector. It is very important for us to understand the concept without violating the constitution. Mining is on the exclusive list, but at the same time we encourage the state governments to participate,”he said. Adegbite explained that apart from revenue from oil and gas, mining was another critical source of revenue the government relies on to execute programs.
Responding, Governor Sule extolled the minister for his efforts in coordinating activities in the mining sector since assumption of office.Sule assured the minister that Nasarawa State would work hard to ensure that government carries out exploration of mineral deposits in the state and get its share of the revenue in the end.
“We don’t need to have any control of it, but we just need to know what is happening,” he added. He, however, maintained that the problems confronting miners in the state could be addressed if the Federal Government was ready to partner with the state to train and equip local miners.