FG urges states to invest in mining to generate revenue
The Federal Government said it would encourage state governments to invest in mining activities to increase their revenue base, and create employment and wealth for the people.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, stated this during a visit to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to discuss “Optimisation of Revenue Generation.”
Ogah also explained that he was in the state to carry out an on-the-spot inspection of polluted stream water by coal mining activities in some communities in Okpokwu Local Government Area.
He said: “My prompt response to the communities’ complaint is indicative of the Federal Government’s determination to ensure that mining operations were carried out responsibly by mining companies.”
Urging the states to support the programmes of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), the Minister said this would aid in enhancing revenue generation from mining operations.
In his remark, Governor Ortom pledged the State’s willingness to support and adopt Federal Government’s policies that would bring revenue growth and development to the state.
He equally solicited collaboration with the Ministry in mineral exploration, saying that the state would readily take advantage of any opportunity to create jobs and put “smiles on the faces of Benue people,” seeing as there are many unexplored minerals.
He commended the Ministry for its prompt response and coming to inspect and find possible solutions to the plight of people in communities where mining activities have affected their water supply.
During an interactive session with stakeholders, the Minister had revealed the Federal Government’s willingness and commitment to reviving the mining of barites to provide the necessary support for that sector to thrive.
To this end, Ortom advised barite miners to organise and form themselves into a single association that would cover all their interest to enable them to benefit from loans in the sector.
Earlier, the Federal Mines officer, Agamah Simon Ogwuj, affirmed the abundance of mineral resources, especially barite, in Benue state, as every local government area has at least one mineral resource.
He said the State Mines Office, in its bid to eradicate illegal mining, has engaged in elaborate enlightenment of artisanal miners, which has resulted in getting them organised into cooperatives.
Also, the Chairman Benue State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee, Samuel Tar Iyornumbe, noted that the Committee had successfully resolved the local governments and barite miners conflict, and repositioned the miners to operate according to extant mining regulations.