The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah has called on the Chairmen of Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) to work in synergy with the Federal, State and Local Governments for rapid development of the country’s Mineral Resources.
He identified synergy as a key strategy through which the economic realization agenda of the administration is being realized, stating that synergy will not only pave way for greater revenue generation, but will also lead to multiple jobs creation while developing the economy.
The Minister who gave the charge at the Annual General Meeting of MIREMCO Chairmen held recently in Abuja, said the forum was timely, stating that it x-rayed the Mineral development quagmire between the States and Ministry.
He decried the decline in revenue generated from the solid minerals sector and expressed optimism that the forum would yield meaningful contributions and chart way forward to resolve resource conflicts across the three tiers of Government for economic growth.
A statement signed by Chinwe Ekwugha, Media Officer to the Minister, said: “Ogah urged the Committee to build a formidable platform of 36 or 37 members, which should be responsible for resolving issues affecting Mineral development to ensure economic and national growth.”
“He appreciated them for making out time from their busy schedules to attend the meeting and look forward to deliverables that will move the Ministry forward. According to him, both Ministers of the Ministry run an open door policy and are ever ready to discuss and interact with any of the members of the team to foster ways of enhancing the Ministry.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan, appreciated their efforts in developing the sector and assured the group that their work as Chairmen will be given very serious attention.
He said the problems confronting them, especially logistics and other funding issues that should facilitate their operation would be properly addressed, adding that the Ministry is ready to involve them into its planned – elaborate sensitisation programme that cuts across all the States, and meant to inform the stakeholders on the need to obey Mining acts.
He expressed government’s willingness to work with them in order to increase government revenue needed to tackle problems existing in the sector. He also encouraged them to work closely with Federal Mining Officers to realise more revenue for the Ministry.
The Permanent Secretary urged MIREMCO to form clusters for mining activities to enable them seek funds from the Bank of Industry.
The immediate past Director, Mines Environmental Compliance (MEC), Engineer Sallim Salaam, assured the group that the Ministry will resolve perceived agitations between the MIREMCO Chairmen and the Mining Officers, adding that there is an ongoing process to review the operational guidelines for their work. He disclosed that consultants will soon approach them to garner their inputs into the plan.
The Committee members, unanimously affirmed their inputs towards enhancing Mining activities, which include resolving issues between the host mining communities and Miners, among others. The group, however, highlighted some of the challenges facing their tasks such as funds, operational vehicles, lack of cooperation and solicited for the Ministry to adequately look into them in order to facilitate their jobs.