In its 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.
Speaking at the weekend, during a courtesy visit to Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 13% derivation on solid minerals mining as obtained in the oil sector.
He noted that with the approval there should be collaboration between the federal and state governments to close up all leakages and generate more revenue from the sector.
Ogah, in a statement, noted that if the abundant minerals in the country, including coal which is found in great quantity in Enugu, are properly harnessed, they would help the federal government in diversifying the economy.
He said mechanism is being put in place towards tracking and monitoring minerals exploited, as well as ensuring that revenues collected are accounted for and paid into the right government account.
He therefore called for cooperation of the governors, saying that doing that would fast-track the growth of the economy, create employment and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to him, government is working on a policy that would check illegal mining in the country by monitoring and tagging minerals mined and their movement. It would also assist in curbing illegal mining, boost employment generation and lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
In his remarks, Governor Ugwuanyi assured of the state’s willingness to partner with the ministry in the effort to generate revenue through minerals mining.
He stated that Enugu, despite 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.
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