Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government Wednesday hinted that 95 per cent licences and leases issued for exploration and mining in Nasarawa State are inactive.
It lamented that despite the state being endowed with over 13 minerals, it is yet tap into these resources fully.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, disclosed this when the state Governor, Abdullahi Sule paid a courtesy call on the ministry in Abuja.
Mu’azu said: “I learnt that of the licences issued, 95 per cent are inactive. Out of the total of 351 licences and leases issued for exploration and mining in the state, only 19 are active.”
He disclosed that there are a lot of illegal and informal mining activities happening in the state which if converted will lead to real economic and social development for the people.
He added that if all the solid minerals in the state are explored, it can employ millions of people directly or indirectly and lift people out of poverty.
He noted that the ministry was willing to collaborate and support the state government in its drive to make the state self-sufficient.
Earlier, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, had urged the ministry to revoke the inactive licencens from those who have not explored them.
Sule stated if some that are not interested in operating those licenses, “why don’t you revoke them and give to Nasarawa State so that the state can give it to serious people that can promote economic activities in our state.”
He further said if such licences are revoked, the state will give it to people who will work with it and improve the economy of the state.
“We want to promote the exploration and development of these minerals that we have in the state. We want to create and improve economic activities in our state”
The governor whose first assignment in office according to him, is the visit to the ministry, observed that, the state has already seen difficulties with insecurity, noting that the state was battling with illegal mining and added that, the ministry should take up responsibilities by revoking licenses of those who are not ready for business.