Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah has given assurance of Federal Government’s commitment to pay the 13% mining revenue derivation to states, noting that it would encourage them to curb leakages from illegal mining, and generate more revenue for the country.
The Minister stated this during a courtesy visit to Plateau State Governor, His Excellency, Hon. Simon Lalong, as part of his working visit to the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) and the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences (NIMG), Jos, Plateau State on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
Dr. Ogah urged states to take advantage of the prompt payment of the 13% revenue derivation by this administration, by coming up with strategy towards organizing artisanal miners operating in the respective states into cooperatives.
He added that the registration and formal organization of artisanal mining activities would not only improve and grow them but would also minimize the spate of foreigners taking precious stones outside the country without going through proper government procedures.
The Minister stated that to achieve the diversification effort of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministry is working out modalities that would boost a robust relationship between States and Local Governments aimed at ensuring that due royalties are paid to mining States.
The Plateau State Governor, Hon. Simon Lalong , who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, solicited the Ministry’s assistance in getting the 13% derivation accruals to the State, saying that despite the abundance of minerals exploration that goes on in the state, Plateau State is yet to benefit from the 13% derivation.
He assured the Hon Minister that the State Government would coordinate and organize artisanal miners into Cooperatives for increased mineral development and revenue generation.
In a related development, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah has challenged the management and staff of both National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) and Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences (NIMG) to use the institutes as key-driver for economic growth, job creation and revenue generation.
The Minister gave the charge during a meeting with management staff of National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) and Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences (NIMG) respectively, after his familiarization tour of facilities of the two institutions.
He noted that the centres have the potentials and capacity to drive revenue generation in the sector. He said entrepreneurs who would create wealth for the country could be produced by the institutes, urging management, staff and students not to lose hope in Nigeria but join the current administration’s bid to take the nation to the next level.
The Director General, National Metallurgical Development Centre, Prof Linus Asuquo, said the institute is committed towards job creation , poverty alleviation and contribution to GDP growth.
He expressed optimism that the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Plant would greatly assist the institute to achieve its mandate, disclosing that the United Nations (UN) has included the Centre in its programme for 2019- 2022 for Nigeria.
Also in his remarks, the Director General, National Institute for Mining and Geosciences, Prof. Hassan Bolaji, said the institute aim to train and develop manpower in mineral research development.
He revealed that it has sought partnership and collaboration for revolutionized mining exploration with local and international organizations.
Prof. Hassan disclosed that certificates obtained at the institute are valid as the Bill establishing it, through the support of the Ministry, was passed into law on 12th July 2018 and gazetted in 2019.