By Palma Ileye
Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has commended the Bauchi State Government for its commitment to developing the vast mineral resources in the State.
This commendation was contained in a press release issued by Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development made available to newsmen in Abuja.
Speaking while receiving the State’s delegation led by Governor Bala Mohammed, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Oladele Alake expressed satisfaction with the renewed interest of federating units in developing the Mining sector, stressing that it is in tandem with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He stated that the need for Nigeria to diversify the economy and the transitioning to clean energy by the global community necessitated the shift in focus to development of solid minerals by the present administration.
The Minister emphasised, “It is gratifying that sub-nationals are fast keying into our vision to make solid minerals a major contributor to our nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. I have listened extensively to your submission, Your Excellency, and you can rest assured that we will give you all the cooperation and requisite partnership to ensure that Bauchi becomes one of the leading States contributing immensely to our common patrimony for the prosperity of all Nigerians.”
In his remarks, Governor Mohammed congratulated Alake on his appointment, asserting that he was a square peg in a square hole.
“We know your pedigree and your antecedents and how loyal you have served the President, and how professional you are. Your pedigree is what we want to create in terms of human capital development for leadership. We have been following your activities since you assumed office, and we can boldly say you are doing your best to reform the mining sector and give it the needed visibility. We are happy with what you’re doing,” the Governor added.
Highlighting efforts of the State on mining development, the Governor revealed that the State has revisited its solid minerals policy, now christened “natural resources policy” which encapsulates the framework for partnership with the Federal Government.
“The policy seeks to deepen community engagement, unbundle the sector in such a way that there won’t be environmental degradation and ensure artisanal mining is controlled in collaboration with the ministry, because it is your statutory responsibility by the constitution. We will be here to lend support as a sub-national,” Bala said.
The Governor whilst noting the partnership of the Ministry with Nasarawa State which culminated in the establishment of Lithium factories, made a case for similar support for Bauchi to develop what he described as its vast metallic minerals including Lithium.
“Bauchi is number 1 in terms of Lithium in the country, and we even pick it from the streets, amongst other critical minerals. We have been bombarded by so many countries and because of the security implications of that, because we are patriots, we cannot allow anybody to come and penetrate that sector without absolute regulation and control in collaboration with the Federal Government. We believe that such should be mutually beneficial to federating units and the FG,” he asserted.