Federal and State Governments Unite to Revamp Nigeria’s Solid Minerals Sector

By Joke Kujenya

THE FEDERAL Government and Nigerian states have agreed to form a joint committee to unlock and maximize the potential of the solid minerals sector. This decision emerged from a meeting between the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals Development.

Segun Tomori, Media Aide to the Minister, stated that the meeting, chaired by Kwara Governor AbdulRasak Abdulrahman, marked a pivotal moment in applying cooperative federalism to the mining sector.

With 32 of Nigeria’s 36 governors in attendance, Alake emphasized the federal government’s commitment to integrating state input in refining mining policies and procedures.

“Our goal is to operate transparently and procedurally under the constitutional framework, avoiding any public perception of discord between federal and state authorities,” Alake declared.

He underscored the constitutional requirement for states to seek ministry approval before issuing mining-related policies, applauding states for engaging with the federal directive in applying for mining licenses.

“Several states have stepped forward with applications, and we have promptly approved these, encouraging their active participation and ensuring they benefit from our national resources,” Alake added.

A major achievement highlighted by Alake was the formation of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), where states hold significant influence.

“With five members plus a chairman nominated by the governors within a 10-member panel, MIREMCO is poised to address mining management and environmental challenges,” he noted.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun emphasized the necessity for collaborative frameworks that involve state participation in the licensing process.

“It is imperative that we have a say in how mining licenses are issued, ensuring our specific interests and environmental concerns are addressed,” he asserted.

Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal and Niger State Governor Umar Bago called for more tailored consultations to tackle unique regional challenges within the mining sector.

The meeting concluded with a united call for enhanced cooperation to facilitate reform in the mining sector and amplify its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP and national revenue.

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