Mining: Fayemi canvasses regional cooperation, environmental safety
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on states and geo-political zones in the country to embrace economic cooperation in exploring minerals deposits in their domains, as government refocuses on solid minerals in its economic diversification plan.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, Fayemi noted that government would pay particular attention to environmental and ecological issues, saying regulatory agencies would not take anything short of the global best practices, in terms of environmental conservation from both local and foreign investors in the sector.
Speaking as Guest lecturer of the third annual Chief Ayoola Odeyemi Lecture on Friday, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Fayemi said government is focusing more on local market to in view of the growing downturn in global minerals commodity market.
He said while the expected economic prosperity could be in the long term, a great deal of wealth could be created and distributed through the solid minerals sector in the short and medium term, stressing that that is the immediate focus of the ministry under his watch.
He admitted that nearly all the states of the federation had one mineral deposit or the other and that some minerals deposits span some states and regions, hence the need for economic cooperation and regional integration.
In the lecture titled Harnessing Our National and Cultural Heritage for National Development, the minister said: “Often the occurrence of natural resource deposits cuts across state and even regional boundaries. This means that it is absolutely imperative for states to establish forums of regional cooperation in order to exploit the commercial potential of the resources in their domains.
“Take nearby Ilesha, which has proven deposits of gold. Those deposits belong to a rich vein that cuts across states in the southwest and in the north-west zones. If the states with this vein are to fully benefit from their resources, they must create frameworks of regional economic cooperation and regional resource corridors.
“There is a clear case to be made that such joint ventures represent a win-win situation for all of us. If the age of crude oil was the age of zero-sum winner-takes-all thinking, this current age should be an age of cooperation and mutual progress,” he said.
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