Solid Minerals Minister Alake Leads Historic Meeting with Governors to Enhance Mining Sector

On Wednesday, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, met with 32 state governors and reached a consensus to form a joint committee to address mining issues collaboratively.

The meeting, chaired by AbdulRasak Abdulrahman, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and Kwara State Governor, was a significant step in the minister’s efforts to implement cooperative federalism to address conflicts in mining activities listed under the exclusive legislative list.

Alake emphasized the federal government’s commitment to partnering with state governments, highlighting the importance of incorporating their input to reposition the mining sector. He reiterated that, according to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), solid minerals fall under the exclusive legislative list, and states must seek approval from the ministry before making policy decisions on mining within their jurisdictions.

“Our actions, both at federal and state levels, should align with the constitution and be conducted procedurally to avoid public perceptions of conflict. To address contentious areas, we announced that states are welcome to apply for mining licenses, thereby becoming critical stakeholders in the industry. This involvement is expected to help states preserve their mining environments and generate direct revenue,” Alake stated.

The minister also praised states that responded to the federal government’s call by applying for licenses to operate as limited liability companies to mine resources within their territories.

“I have approved licenses for some states that submitted applications, without hesitation, to support the active participation of federating units. This policy is part of our efforts to include federating units and ensure they benefit from our resources,” Alake added.

He highlighted the significant role states play through their membership in the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), where five members and the Chairman are nominated by governors, contributing to the 10-person committee managing mining activities and environmental issues.

The minister called for cooperation from the governors to support the federal government’s initiatives to reform the mining sector, aiming to enhance its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase revenue to the federation account.

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State stressed the necessity for a collaborative template between states and the federal government, asserting that states should have a say in the mining license issuance process. Similarly, Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal and Niger State Governor Umar Bago urged the minister to engage in one-on-one consultations with governors to address the unique challenges of mining in their states.

In conclusion, the minister and the governors agreed to enhance engagement and develop a collaborative framework to eliminate barriers to mining development.

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