In its quest to create the necessary interface and engagement among stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) has held a 2-day sensitisation meeting geared towards enhancing ease of doing business in the sector with states commissioners for Justice, Minerals and Environment from North-Central geopolitical Zone.
According to a statement, the minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite in his welcome remarks, said the meeting was to rob minds, proffer solutions or make clarification on seemingly misunderstanding of policy implementation as regards roles of the federal and state governments in mining operations.
"We are here to exchange ideas, know your concerns, get to understand each other's roles and how to work together for the benefit of all," he said.
Reacting to some comments including amendment of the exclusive list section on minerals in the Constitution, so that the states would have participatory roles in mining, the Minister said doing so would amount to selfishness and would be detrimental to the economic system.
He explained that oil revenue that is derived from a section of the country is being used for the overall development of the country, and that now that attention is focusing on the development of the minerals sector for revenue generation, it must be use for the common good of all.
He said that royalties and other revenues generated from solid minerals mining is paid into the consolidated fund which is shared in accordance with derivation principle during monthly revenue allocation sharing. He urged the participants to always cross-check from their respective state Commissioner for Finance to know how much revenue from minerals their states get monthly.
In his remarks, the minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, said the states Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committees (MIREMCOs) play vital roles in ensuring smooth mining activities in the states, and urged state governments who appoint the chairmen, to endeavour to appoint persons with expertise and knowledge in the field so as to bring such to bear in their operations in the states.
In her welcome address earlier, the permanent secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluwatoyin Akinlade, said with the abundant mineral resources when properly harnessed would boost the nation's revenue base, stressing "To achieve this, there must be cooperation and collaboration of governments at all levels".