Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada, has declared that the federal government has resolved to encourage local production of raw materials resources in order to fast track economic returns to the country.
He made the declaration while playing host to Governour of Cross River state, Senator Liyel Imoke recently.
Sada said that government is working assiduously to ensure the local production of barites in order to meet the requirements of the country’s oil and gas industry lamenting that the nation’s minerals and metals sector is dominated by foreign operators.
He further said that a sector dominated by foreign operators has a consequence of yielding low percentage benefit in terms of royalties, tax and amenities to government, and added that “the money is in the equity of the business and foreign operators bring in the capital and take out their capital and we may just be left with nothing.”
The minister noted that geological study revealed that Cross River state is endowed with huge deposits of barites and limestone, saying that the ministry is already discussing with companies of the oil industry on the possibility of establishing their operations in some locations across the country. This, Sada said will promote local exploitation of the raw material resources adding that government is interested in establishing partnerships to that effect.
While he observed that adequate control and exploitation of mineral resources can be achieved through organised partnership, the minster noted that successful implementation of plans would earn the country a lot of economic benefit.
Sada disclosed that the minerals and mining act of 2007 provides for the establishment of the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) in each state of the federation as well as the signing of a community development agreement with host communities which clearly spells out the social and economic contributions that the mineral title holder are expected to make to them.
He said that the inauguration of MIREMCO in each state of the federation was indicative of the resolve of the present administration to fast track orderly and sustainable development of the solid mineral endowments of the country and added that the chairmanship of the MIREMCO committee in each state is chaired by a prominent indigene of the state.
This he said is to avail host communities the opportunity to contribute to the orderly and sustainable development of the nation’s solid mineral resources.
Sada who maintained that there are occurrences of mineral resources in each local government of the federation said that the deposits would be very useful in the proposed establishment of cottage industries and the subsequent creation of job opportunities for Nigerians.
In his remark, Imoke said that Cross River state is the only state in the oil rich Niger Delta that is not producing oil. He however said that the state has comparative advantages in terms of solid mineral endowments. The governor therefore sought collaboration with the ministry for the developments of the resources.
Imoke disclosed that the state had about thirty quarry companies in one local government area of the state while there are huge deposits of limestone and barites.
Filed Under: Mining