His Excellency Umaru Tanko Almakura has called for the renewed exploration of coal to be used for power generation and desk officers put in place to register where minerals are mined instead of where they are processed or sold.
Gov. Almakura made this call as he received the delegation led by the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals Dr. Fayemi John Kayode and the Minister of State for Solid Minerals Hon. Bawa Bwari Abubakar and staff of the Ministry at the Government House Lafia . He described the Minister as the man Nasarawa is waiting for , as the Federal Government has put his Ministry in the forefront in finding ways to diversify the economy so as to ensure Nigerian have other opportunities.
Thanking him for the visit which he said had given encouragement that the state could not only help the Federal Government in diversification but also help the state and our people by opening prosperity to every home, he described their coming with the policy trust they put forward as giving the state great optimism that the future will be very very bright.
Governor Almakura stated that the coal exploitation would provide power for locomotives and power generation as it was done by the countries in the West, recounting that Nigeria has some of the best coal in the world, and it would provide prosperity for the people in such areas.
Gov. Almakura also once again made a case for the 13% due to mineral producing state with is not being recorded to some states such as Nasarawa due to the fact they only mine , but the minerals are sold in other places where the 13% is recorded and attributed to those states , he called for desks officers to be put in place to monitor and record the minerals being mined in mining stating and allow the data from them to be used to determine the 13%.
He commended the efforts being carried out in the ministry which included fine tuning the policies and ensuring they serve the people by providing a value chain as well as much needed jobs.
He supported the Ministries resolve to bring in the state government for consent on the provisions of mining rights for authentication, further stating that if it did conflict with the FG policy the state government would start working with the House of Assembly to make a law that requires Government consent on mining site.
The Governor appealed that the state should be carried along on the issue of mining policies ,roadmap, collaborations , and partnership for more participation by the people of the state, he also called for more FG presence in the area of mining security which would not only secure lives of expiates but protect the continuous flow of revenue .calling for such an outfit to be set on the National Level.
The Governor also suggested that there should be collaborations between major mining companies as it is done in the petroleum industry where two major companies could come together and carryout a joint venture. Where serious companies are linked with states to work together.
Lastly, the Governor invited the Minister and his team to visit the Nasarawa Geographical Information System (NAGIS) Office , where they could see the efforts done with technology with would be very useful for mineral exploration .
Speaking earlier the Minister of Solid Minerals Dr. Kayode Fayemi who was in the state as a follow-up to their earlier meeting in his office in Abuja made it known they were in the state to see for themselves the gaps and what could be done in partnership and collaboration with Nasarawa state .
The Minister who was with a team from his office to see what could be done to reclaim the active mines abandoned, the problems between the miners and the host communities and how the bond could be strengthened between the host communities and the miners.
He spoke of the tension between the Host communities and the investors , stating that they would use partnership with the state to grow the industry by bringing in the states for authentication and consent on mining rights which has been a thing of worry.
He made it known there were three things that they were working on such as the era of mining and then moving minerals was over, stating that anyone that wants to mine should be ready to setup plants to process such minerals mined. Making it clear that they would give time for such to be set up and them enforce it.
Secondly they were ready enforce provision in the mining act in support of the host communities to ensure they get the best out of what goes on in their environment, stating that they also intend to do this using the state , stating that the law asks the host communities to issue consent which is abused and given by middle men to multiple investors at time causing problem later. By bring in the state to authenticate the consent when given.
Lastly , the proceeds from mining is seen as that of the Federal Government but that is to change as the 13 % derivation has been added to the federal allocation to states according to how much is produced by the state.
Minister described Nasarawa state as being blessed as the state has over 70 minerals of which some where in commercial quantities.