Alake extols Benue State’s commitment to Mining development

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By Palma Ileye

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake has described Benue State as a worthy example of States’ participation in Mining sector development.

This commendation was contained in a press release issued to newsmen in Abuja by Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development.

Speaking while receiving the State Government’s delegation led by Deputy Governor, Samuel Ode in his office on Friday, Alake lauded the State for its interest in developing the State’s mineral resources in collaboration with the Federal Government.

He stressed that the approach of the State was in conformity with the nation’s statutes on mining, which put the sector in the exclusive legislative list.

The Minister seized the occasion to debunk perceived neglect of States and host communities in mining activities, emphasizing that States appoint most members and Chairmen of MIREMCO whilst the consent of host communities is mandatory before the issuance of mining licenses.

“There is no single state in this country without minerals of high grade and of viable volume. I’ve had cause to give out some approvals on applications for mining license, quarrying, and relevant ventures from Benue State. Benue is one of the very well-endowed States in this country. We are ready to cooperate with you to translate your vision into reality not just for the benefit of Benue but for the benefit of all Nigerians,” Alake asserted.

In his remarks, Ode revealed that reforms spearheaded by the Minister attracted the State’s attention, hence its decision to revive the Mining sector in Benue, which he stated has at least 34 critical minerals.

“In our focus on the mining sector, we promise we are going to play according to the rules. The collaboration between federating units and the centre can be seamless if everyone is guided by law. That should be the pivot on which everything should revolve. We will abide by all standards of compliance. We bring you the best wishes of His Excellency, Gov. Hyacinth Alia. Our presence here signposts that Benue state is ready to develop the mining industry,” the Deputy Governor added.

He said, “We see the inauguration of MIREMCO as a major milestone in our bid to exploit the solid minerals sector. It is the committee that will regulate mining activities within Benue, and for us, it is a great leap towards harnessing our mineral resources for the benefit of the people.”

Throwing more light on the State’s interest in mining, the Director-General of State’s Bureau of Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation, Benita Shuluwa emphasized that hitherto, Benue State had been known as an agrarian state whereas it has minerals that are commercially viable.

She stressed the determination of the State Government to invest in not only the extraction of minerals but also processing and value addition to ensure maximum beneficiation for the people.

The highlight of the meeting was the inauguration of the State’s Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee, MIREMCO, by the Minister.