The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has called on state governments to create enabling environment for investments to thrive.
He made the call yesterday in Abuja when the Katsina State governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari paid him a courtesy visit in his office, saying as the chief security officers of their various states, it was their duty to create safe environment in terms of security and ensure that investors were not taken undue advantage of.
He told governors to guard against imposition of what he called ‘secondary rules’ such as multiple taxation and proclamations that could heat up the polity and discourage investors, noting that the Federal Government controls mineral resources in all states of the federation.
“There is need to thread with caution because if we look at this country in the last 50 years, we have all depended on one resource and it is coming from some states and federal government has maintained control over it”, he emphasized, adding “states cannot say they want to control the mineral resources in their states, it negates the principle of federation for states with mineral resources to agitate for control.”
He reiterated that the control of mineral resources in the states is vested on the federal government for exploitation and made reference to the provisions that allow every state in terms of derivation to benefit 13 per cent of minerals mined in their domain.
He expressed appreciation to Masari for the visit and assured him of the ministry’s readiness to collaborate and work with his government while calling on state governments to give federal government free hand to administer mining in their various localities for the benefit of all.
Earlier in his remarks, the Katsina governor said he was in the ministry to intimate the minister of the progress his state had made in mining and seek collaboration in areas of marketing and investment.
He attributed the state of insecurity currently being experienced in the country to idleness as he said Nigeria was yet to fully develop what would make people busy and gainfully employed, such as mining.
“Every state of the federation is blessed with mineral resources and if we develop what we have in every state and community, the agitation for resource control, fiscal federalism and so on will gradually die out,” he stated.
A statement by the head of press and public relations signed by Idowu Jokpeyibo, quoted Masari as saying the country was in need of directional leadership to guide, propel and harness the abundant mineral resources in all the states and end dependency on the federal government.