Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite yesterday in Abuja chided the Governor of Zamfara State over claims of ownership of mineral resources in his state, warning that mineral product remain exclusively to the federal government.
The minister, while briefing the press on the fourthcoming 5th Nigerian Mining Week, stressed that what the governor was doing was right but the way he was portraying it to the media was wrong.
Adegbite, said, “I had a meeting with the Zamfara people yesterday or day before yesterday, they need to get their narrative right to the public.”
He noted that though, anybody could buy any mineral product in the country including corporate individual, subnational, states or local government so long as you go through the process.
He further stated: “We have what we call private mineral buying centres, we issue licences, in fact, anybody that is interested should come to us and once you meet the criteria, we give you a license to purchase the mineral and that is the angle the Zamfara Government is exploiting.
“From their own fund, they are buying gold from their people and I spoke with the governor, you need to explain these to the people properly. It’s not as if they are cornering the resources that belongs to the federal government.”
He added: “all mineral resources in country is vested in the federal government and that is in the exclusive list and that stays. And the right royalty should be paid to the federal government.
“People feel that some parts of the nation are cornering the wealth of the nation to themselves which belongs to all of us and I will always say this, everybody has partake in the lunch of the Niger Delta’s people, we have taken from the oil and gas and it has been used to develop this country and the mineral wealth of this country will also be used collectively to develop this country and not exclusively by one section,” Adegbite stated.