From: Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed on Friday evening urged the Federal Government to establish a robust funding mechanism to enable genuine miners access financial interventions.
The Governor who gave the advice when the Minister of State, Mining and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogar paid him a courtesy visit at the Council Chamber, Government House,Bauchi declared that “We have abundant natural resources in Bauchi”.
Governor Bala Mohammed said giving financial assistance to genuine miners will go along way towards reducing, tackling and discouraging illegal mining operations in the country.
The Governor said Bauchi being blessed with abundant natural resources, his administration with the support of the federal government, will harness them for economic development.
“We are pleased with your visit at this crucial moment, definitely Mr President should be praised for selecting people like you to man various Ministries. We have recognised your passion, energy, drive and determination to make sure you leave the mining sector better than you have found it.”
“We have abundant natural resources in Bauchi that if well harnessed and supported by the federal government can sustain Nigeria as a whole.”
He said the state government is working to create some value chains around many mining opportunities of the state to increase its revenue generation.
Despite the abundant natural resources in the state, the Governor expressed concern that both the state and the federal government are not benefiting from them because of the activities of illegal miners and advocated for community engagement to overcome the situation.
The Governor said his administration will continue to work with the Ministry to provide level playing ground for genuine investors to come and invest in the state for the benefit of both the state and the federal government.
On his part, the Minister of State, Mining and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson said the officials of the Ministry are in Bauchi for a sensitization visit in line with the economic diversification agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister told Governor Bala Mohammed that, collaboration between states and federal government as well as community leaders is imperative to smooth mining operations in Nigeria.
“Your Excellency, almost all the minerals are in Bauchi state, Bauchi is one of the key state that we are proud in terms of deposite of mineral resources, but our concern is that, the resources are yet to be harnessed by the state government due to some challenges.”
He said the Federal Ministry of Mining and Steel Development is already promoting the mineral potentials of Bauchi state to serious mining investors who are willing to invest in the state.
Dr Uchechukwu Sampson said the Federal Government has approved a 13 percent derivation for revenue generated through mining to all the states of the federation to encourage collection of mining tax in states. END