Some members of the Miners Association of Nigeria during their news conference in Abuja

Association urges FG to outline solid minerals blueprint for efficient mining activities

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By Vivian Emoni

The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to come up with an agenda on mineral resources for efficient mining activities across the country.

The President of MAN, Mr Dele Ayanleke, said this in Abuja at a news conference on the issue of state government’s interference in mining activities.

Ayanleke said that so many legacy challenging the issue of state governments usurping the functions of constitutionally recognised mining industry regulators started gaining momentum of recent.

According to him, MAN will like to make a clarion call to the government on the need to come up with the agenda of its administration on solid minerals sector.

“On our part as a body of investors and operators, we shall reach out to the new administration soon with a blueprint of our contributions to a mining regime that will support the economic diversification agenda in pragmatic terms,” he said.

The president said that MAN, as the umbrella body of operators and investors in the sector, had never been in support of illegal mining operations under any guise.

He said that the association was ready to partner with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a sanitised mining environment.

He expressed concern that some newly elected governors have started issuing executive orders, either banning mining activities or attempting to regulate the sector.

According to him, some of such states are Ebonyi, Osun, Enugu, Cross River, Taraba among others.

“Taraba state government went as far as setting up a Task Force on illegal mining and deforestation with full authority to arrest, summarily prosecute and sentence anyone found culpable under its own laws.

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“We are of the belief and conviction that the issue of illegality in the system must be appraised and confronted in whole.

“A situation where a group of stakeholders is being stigmatised as the perpetrators of illegality by the holders of coercive machinery of state, is totally unacceptable.

“Drawing from the above, Taraba State Government or any other state and local governments for that matter, does not have the competence to determine the legality of any operator.

“Such competence resides with the ministry or any of its agencies saddled with the various regulatory functions,” he said.

Ayanleke said that in section 44(3) of the 1999 constitution, as amended and section 1(1) of the mining Act 2007, placed the ownership of mineral resources and mining regulations in Exclusive Legislative List.

He said the constitution was made to address the socioeconomic and environmental concerns of the lower tiers of government.

“The Federal Government through its appropriate agencies is saddled with the oversight responsibility on any mining and minerals related issues including, but not limited to mining titles administration.

“It is on this note that we hereby appeal to the Federal Government to call state governments to order by honoring their oath to defend and uphold the constitution of the nation.

“This is to engender an atmosphere of mining best practices so that local investors can contribute their quotas to the economic development of the country and open windows for foreign investments,” he said.

The MAN president said that the importance of the meeting was not to vilify or wage war against any state government.

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He said that part of the association’s advocacy was to draw attention to a critical governance impediment militating against the solid minerals sector as a veritable option in the government economic diversification agenda.

“According to him, at a time when the whole world is thinking, talking and going green energy, our huge endowments in minerals needed to be among global actors.

“Nigeria cannot afford to help other nations develop their industries through mass exportation of our unprocessed solid minerals, while our citizens wallow in poverty.

“It is time our government takes a cue from the initiative of our founding fathers.

“Our founding fathers invented technologies that turned our agricultural resources into huge industrial development with attendant wealth creation in the post-independence First Republic. (NAN)(

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Vincent Obi

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