ENUGU – (Federal Ministry of Mines & Solid Minerals Development Report) – In a concerted effort to increase revenue generation in the Minerals and Metals Sector, the Federal Government is partnering with State Governments to curb illegal mining of solid minerals across the country.
While speaking at the weekend during a courtesy visit to the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Minster of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah (Dr) said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 13% derivation on solid minerals mining as in the oil sector, as such there should be collaboration between the Federal and State Governments, in order to close up all leakages and be able to derive better revenue generation in the sector.
Ogah noted that if the abundance of minerals in the country, including coal which is found in great quantity in Enugu are properly harnessed, it would help achieve the Federal Government’s efforts towards diversifying the economy. He added that mechanisms are being put in place towards tracking and monitoring the minerals exploited, as well as ensuring that the revenues collected are accounted for and paid into the right government account.
He later called for cooperation from the Governors, saying doing this would fast – track the growth of the economy, create employment and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to him, the Government is working on a policy that would curb the activities of illegal mining in the country. He explained that the policy would ensure the monitoring and tagging of minerals mined and their movement. Adding, this would assist in curbing illegal mining, and boosting the drive to create employment and lift Nigerians out of poverty.
In his remarks, the Governor assured the visitors the state’s willingness to partner with the Ministry in the effort to generate revenue through minerals mining. He also disclosed that Enugu with its abundance of coal has not witnessed any meaningful mining activity for years; adding that the people would be happy to see the State return to the days when Enugu was truly the Coal City.