By Emmanuel Mogbede
The Federal Government on Tuesday pledged continued support and to serve the interests of licensed mining companies, which consistently pay royalties wherever they were located.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development made the pledge at the award of certificate of service to Dr Sidikat Salau of the Nigerian Mining Cadastral Office (NMCO).
Salua, who had a Masters in Geology and a Doctorate in Mineral Explorations was retiring from service after 33 years.
“Wherever they are, so long as they are committed to paying their royalties to government, we will stand by them and protect them whenever necessary, even when they run into trouble outside the country,’’ Adegbite said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government in its bid to increase revenue generation from mining, is putting in place a policy to ensure that mining companies paid the accurate royalties from their sales.
The minister had earlier said that the payment of due royalties to the government would provide the needed funds for infrastructural development for the country.
Adegbite, who described the retirement of Salau as a day of honour, said it was wonderful to be celebrated by ones’ peers rather than merely being celebrated for what people benefited from the person.
He said that attaining the retirement age of 60 in the civil service and still looking graceful was a thing to be grateful to God for.
The minister prayed God to preserve and honour Salau in her retirement and charged her to remain consistent.
Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State, Ministry Mines and Steel Development while presenting a certificate of service to Salau, charged her to remain a good ambassador.
He prayed for her continued good health and prosperity in retirement.
Mr Obadiah Nkom, the NMCO Director-General said the office was honoured to have the two ministers at the event.
He, however, said that the event was to honour the minister`s one year in office and the retiring Salau, adding that the NMCO would collaborate with the ministers to enable them achieve their mandates.
“With the spirit you drive the ministry; we don’t have any choice than to support you,’’ he said.
According to him, the relationship between the two ministers is enviable and should be commended.
Nkom congratulated the retiring Salau for the feat she recorded in her service years and for attaining retirement age in good health.
Responding, Salau thanked the ministers for honouring her with their presence, saying that the ministry made her what she was today.
She charged civil servants not to wait for government sponsorship to acquire knowledge, adding that the decisions she took in the past to acquire knowledge, brought her this far.
“Don’t wait for government sponsorship, am honoured today because of God and the decisions I took to acquire knowledge.
“Whatever it is, do not look for money, look for knowledge because with knowledge, money and everything would come, ‘’ she said.
Salau, who said she was brought up by her elder sister, charged staff of the ministry not to let it down, assuring that the ministry and the downstream sector would do better under its present minister.
She said this was especially so because the ministry and the downstream sector were beginning to get the desired attention from the Federal Government.
NAN reports that Salau rose through the ranks in the ministry and retired as a Director.(NAN)