Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Honourable Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has re-emphasized government’s readiness to collaborate with stakeholders in developing the mining sector as a growth enabler in line with the diversification agenda of the present Administration. He stated this when the Executive Governor of Osun State, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his team paid him a courtesy visit in his office at MMSD Complex in Abuja.
Honourable Bwari urged the State to provide enabling environment for investors to ease their doing business in various locations, adding that the Federal government in its efforts to attract investments has provided the investors with the opportunities of bringing in mining equipment without paying duties, tax relief of three to five years, and hundred per cent ownership of their businesses.
The Minister assured the Governor that the challenges he earlier raised that is hindering the development of the sector in the State such as need for accurate geological data, artisanal miners activities, technical assistance, relevant investors are being properly addressed to ensure adequate harnessing of natural endowment in the State.
According to him, the Federal Government has given out exploration contract of Fourteen Million Naira that will be carried out throughout the entire country in order to provide adequate data of mineral deposits. The issue of artisanal miners is also being addressed as they are being organized into cooperatives and allowed to have access to five per cent of the Five Billion Naira that government offered as subvention, government will also soon launch a Gold Purchase Scheme in Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger and Osun States.
He pledged government’s unalloyed support in developing the available solid minerals in the State and, however, stressed that in as much as government wants to promote mining activities; there is a need to ensure protection of environment and human health for a viable society.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Barrister Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, MON, in her welcome address at the occasion noted that the mandate of the Ministry is to share mining prosperity with all Nigerians and the entire world. This, she said, is being done through various investments that have been attracted into the country and some from Osun State. She urged the Governor not to relent in his efforts to develop Minerals in the State and assured of maximum support from the Ministry.
Earlier in his address, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, said the purpose of their visit was to have a collective discussion with the Minister on the solid mineral development in the State and to solicit assistance in harnessing the resources to the benefit of Federal Government and the State. He expressed happiness that the Federal Government has embraced the sector as a means of diversifying the economy, since oil is becoming less valuable.
The Governor expressed optimism that the Minister will provide a guiding mining policy that will enable the State bring its youth to mining, organize them into cooperative, regulate the mining industry, have access to the natural resources fund for development of the State’s mining sector and harnessing of valuable assets like gold.
He solicited for the Ministry’s support in the development of the sector for the benefit of the citizenry and Osun State, adding that proper harnessing of the minerals would facilitate the proper engagement of youth in artisanal mining, and cooperatives in order to empower them and enable government derive revenue.