BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
The Minister for State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Ochekwuckwu Ogah has said in Sokoto that the federal government is ever ready to grant mining licence to small scale miners.
Dr Ogah who said doing so was with the aim of discouraging illegal mining, also assured that they have the mandate of the president to ensure prioritize mining and strengthen collaboration with states to ensure security of mining areas.
While noting that, the position of Sokoto state in the mineral resources deposit of Nigeria is very interesting, the Minister said only collaboration with states can stamp out activities of illegal mining.
“The present level of mining in Sokoto can be maximize if the present level of cooperation is stepped up”
According to Dr Ogah, Nigeria has over 44 commercial worth minerals resources hence the need to beam more searchlight towards that direction.
The Minister in a town hall meeting with miners in the state divulged that the federal government has given out 5bn to miners through the Bank of Industry, hence the need for miners to form cooperatives.
He also expressed satisfaction that Sokoto state is lucky as their governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal understands law making and will ensure that the state have miner friendly task policy.
The Minister also said the federal government is very ready to receive mining activities, appealing to them to have be willing to pay their royalties to enable goverment embark on developmental projects that will be beneficial to all.
“We are ever ready to assist the miners to succeed. We however wish to appeal to miners to pay their royalties at when due so that the state goevrnents can so get their 13 percent derivations”.
On his part, the Chairman, Sokoto State Amalgamated Miners Union, Alhaji Kabiru Umar Dodo thanked the federal government and the Minister for mines and Steel Development for deeming it fit to beam searchlight on the mining sector.
According to Kabiru Umar Dodo, those of them in the mining sector in Sokoto state need to be assisted with machinery and other equipment that they cannot readily acquire.