Solid minerals: Kwara governor seeks states' control of royalties
KWARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on the Federal Government to increase state governments’ participation in the solid mineral sector through royalties, fees, fines and taxes collection from solid minerals. He said that the scenario would present the states with the opportunity to increase their internally generated revenue (IGR), adding that this would reduce their dependence on Federal Government and create employment for the teeming youth population. The governor said this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital at the installation of the President of the Nigerian Mining and Geo-Sciences Society (NMGS).
Represented by Education and Human Capital Development Commissioner, Alhaji Musa Yeketi, Governor Ahmed said that “the constitution appears to hobble this possibility. For instance, Section 44 (3) of the 1999 Constitution vests the Federal Government with the ownership and control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas, in Nigeria. “Also, the Second Schedule, Part 1 item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative list in the 1999 Constitution restricts state governments from developing their respective mining potentials.
“This creates a situation whereby states have limited authority over mining activities in their domain and after often required to purchase expensive licenses from the government with no guarantee of returns or successful exploitation of minerals resources.” Speaking after his inauguration as the 29th President of the society, Prof Silas Dada said that solid mineral resourcesdriven development is the best growth opportunity for Nigeria. “In fact, most Nigeria’s solid mineral resources have not yet been discovered, which represents a formidable opportunity for growth. “Our governments need to get the natural resource management policy (NRM) chain right. The NRM policy chain needs to be adequately developed by setting up strong policies in every area of income generation and investment.
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