Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Vice President (Mines) of the Kwara State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA) Mr. Abdul Rahman Ottan has called on the federal government to reconsider the 13 percent derivation benefits given to state and local governments where mining potential are discovered.
Ottan made the call in Ilorin, at a media briefing on the state of the nationâ€™s mining over the weekend.
According to him, â€there is the need for the federal government to have a geological data bank of mineral resources in the country to attract interested foreign investorsâ€.
He noted that mining is on the exclusive list of the federal government, but suggested that such stand should be down played to enhance the development of the sector.
He said that Africa is the next destination of mining in the world and therefore pleaded with the government to harness the potentials of the sector and take it more seriously.
Ottan lamented that the government had not invested much in mining as subsequent administrations had played lip services to the sector.
He urged the government to involve states and local governments as well as the local communities where mines where discovered in the sharing formula derivable from the minerals discovered.
On the state of mining in Kwara, the vice president of KWACCIMA said that the body has concluded arrangements to put up a position paper to the state government on the need for the government to partner with foreign or local miners on how to develop the potentials of mining.
He said that, such development would increase the internally revenue generation of the state and create more employment opportunities.
Ottan also suggested that government should establish a mining company saddled with the responsibility of acquiring mining sites across the 16 local government areas of the state saying that the state is endowed with abundant mineral resources
He, however, commended the state government for creating a ministry responsible for the mining sector and stressed the need for the ministry to be well equipped in terms of capacity building to enhance the performances of the staff through training and retaining.