By Ruth Tene Natsa
The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has decried the Stop Work Order issued by the Lagos State Government to sand dredgers in the state.
This is even as they note the reaction by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development nullifying the order.
In a statement to LEADERSHIP signed by the National Secretary Dele Ayanleke, it stated that “The attention of Miners Association of Nigeria has been drown to the recent work – stop order issued by Lagos State Government to all sand dredgers in Lagos
“It is a known fact that administration and control of mineral resources is vested with the Federal Government as such power is in the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution as elicited by (section 4) Part 1 Exclusive Legislative list, (Item 39) Mines, Minerals, Oil fields, Oil mining, Geological survey and Natural Gas”
MAN noted that “The agitation for state to control these minerals resources is increasing on a daily basis even as it noted that some state Governors have gone to the extent of rejecting mining license issued by the Federal Government”
“It is pertinent to state that like liquid minerals (oil and gas) which is a common wealth for Nigeria and it’s proceed shared by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Solid Minerals has the same status in terms of administration and control”
The Miners stated that “Base on the above the miners Association of Nigeria call on the Lagos State and indeed all state Governments that are not comfortable with the current position to advocate for constitutional amendment for more states involvement in the administration and control of mineral resources in Nigeria”
Commending the position of the Federal Government voiced through the Ministry of Mines & Steel Development for the licensed sand dredgers in Lagos to continue their operations,they urged that “sand dredgers not be made victims of constitutional dichotomy”
“We state that miners with sand dredging licenses invested heavily in securing the Licenses and buying of equipment for their dredging activities should not be made a victim of constitutional dichotomy” it read
The statement further urged states and local Governments to support the diversification initiative of the Federal Government and put all hands on deck to re-invigorate the solid minerals sector for our common benefit.