By John Okeke
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has called on State Governments to create enabling environment for investment to thrive.
He made this call on Monday, 10/8/21, in Abuja when the Katsina State Governor, Alh Aminu Bello Masari paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
Adegbite said as the Chief Security Officers of their various States, it is the duty of the State Governments to create safe environment in terms of security and ensure that investors are not taken undue advantage of.
He called on State Governors to guard against imposition of what he called “secondary rules” such as multiple taxation which could discourage investors.
He cautioned State 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 thread with caution because if we look at this country in the last 50years, we have all depended on one resource and it is coming from some States and Federal Government has maintained control over it”, he emphasized.
“States cannot say they want to control the mineral resources in their States, it negates the principle of Federation for States with mineral resources to agitate for control”, he further explained.
He reiterated that the control of mineral resources in the States is vested on Federal Government for exploitation, as he made reference to the provisions that allowed every State in terms of derivation to benefit 13% 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 Federal Government free hand to administer mining in their various localities for the benefits of all.
Earlier in his remarks, the Katsina State Governor, Alh. Bello Masari said he was in the Ministry to intimate the Minister of the progress his State has made in mining and seek 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 FederalGovernment.