Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has urged state governments to provide an enabling climate for investment to grow.
Adegbite stated that as the chief security officers of their respective states, it is the governors’ responsibility to provide a secure environment and guarantee that investors are not exploited.
The minister disclosed this in a statement issued by Mrs Idowu Jokpeyibo on behalf of the Head of Press and Public Relations Unit, following a courtesy visit from Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari.
He urged state governors to avoid imposing “secondary norms” such as multiple taxations, which might dissuade investors.
He warned governors not to issue proclamations that could inflame the political situation, adding that the Federal Government controls mineral resources in all of the Federation’s states.
“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 the federation for states with mineral resources to agitate for control,” he said.
He posited that the Federal Government has sovereignty over natural resources in the states for exploitation, citing regulations that allow each state to benefit from 13% of minerals extracted in their domain.
He welcomed Governor Masari’s visit and assured him of the Ministry’s preparedness to collaborate and work with Katsina State while urging state governments to give the Federal Government full rein to manage mining in their respective areas for the benefit of everybody.
In his remarks, Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, stated that he was in the Ministry to address the success his state has made in mining, as well as to seek collaboration in marketing and investment.
He linked the current condition of instability in the country to inactivity, claiming that Nigeria has yet to completely develop what would keep people engaged and gainfully employed, such as mining.
According to him, “every state of the Federation is endowed with mineral resources, and if we utilize what we have in every state and community, the demand for resource control, fiscal federalism, and so on would gradually fade away”.
He stated that Nigeria need directional leadership to drive, propel, and harness the enormous mineral resources in all states, hence ending reliance on the federal government