Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada
By Patrick Ugeh
The Federal Government has announced plans to establish a solid mineral-based cottage industry in each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
The move is part of its transformation agenda on job and wealth creation.
Making the disclosure in his office at the weekend, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada, said that the pilot programme would take off from one local government area in Bauchi State before other local government areas across the country.
He spoke while playing host to the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda.
Sada explained that what informed Federal Government’s decision was the fact that every local government area in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was endowed with at least one solid mineral resource.
He said that the Federal Government was ready to partner Bauchi State government and private investors to develop the solid mineral resources in that state.
The minister disclosed that the necessary legislative and institutional frameworks had been put in place to drive the sector and reforms are on-going.
Sada said the issue of illegal mining across the country was being addressed to protect lives, generate revenue, the environment and to attract foreign direct investment and local investors to the mining industry.
According to him, every state government of the federation is to participate actively in mining operations in their domain through the Mineral Resource and Environmental Management Committees.
He assured that the committees would be made to work effectively to move the sector forward.
The minister observed that one of the major challenges militating against the development of the sector was inadequate funding for activities and oversight functions on operators in the sector. Consequently, he sought for the governor’s assistance.