The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has called on state governments to create an enabling environment for investment to thrive.
Adegbite said that as chief security officers of their various states, it was the duty of the governors to create a safe and secure business environment and ensure that investors are not exploited.
The minister made the call in a statement signed by Mrs Idowu Jokpeyibo, on behalf of the Head of Press and Public Relations, after receiving the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, on a courtesy visit to the Minister.
He called on State Governors to guard against the imposition of “secondary rules” such as multiple taxations, which could discourage investors.
He cautioned governors to desist from proclamations that could heat up the polity, noting that the Federal Government controls mineral resources in all states of the Federation.
“There is need to tread 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 the Federal Government has maintained control over it.
“States cannot say they want to control the mineral resources in their domain. It negates the principle of a federation for states with mineral resources to agitate for control,” he said.
The Minister reiterated that the control of mineral resources in the states is vested in the Federal Government for exploitation, as he made reference to the provisions that allowed every State in terms of derivation to benefit 13 per cent of minerals mined in their domain.
He appreciated the visit of Governor Masari and assured him of the Ministry’s readiness to collaborate and work with Katsina State while calling on state governments to give the Federal Government a free hand to administer mining in their various localities for the benefit of all.
Earlier in his remarks, the Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari said he was in the Ministry to discuss the progress his State has made in mining while seeking 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 is yet to fully develop what would make people busy and gainfully employed, such as mining.
According to him, “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 said Nigeria is 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. (VON)