The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner Osun State Government in the development of the mining sector in the state.
It also assured the state government of its commitment to collaborate with the relevant government agencies to ensure proper exploration of the mineral resources in the state.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, stated these on Thursday evening when he called on the governor at the Governor’s Office, Osogbo.
This is even as the governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, appealed to the Federal Government to allow full participation of states in the mining sector by moving mining matters from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List in order for states to also legislate on mining and related matters.
The Minister, who described Osun as a ‘home of gold’, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to support the state in its efforts to properly harness her mineral potential for the development of the state in particular and the country at large.
He said government was ready to give the necessary support to Osun and Zamfara states which he described as states with the largest gold deposits in the country.
Adegbite enjoined the state government to support the Segilola mining firm in its bid to unlock the mining potential in the state.
“Osun State occupies a critical position in the mining sector. That is why I found it very important to be here today to discuss on how to develop solid minerals.
“The development of mining sector is not a new thing. We have been on it for quite a number of years at least in the last ten years. But that wouldn’t happen until we have the big players.
“What we have now in Nigeria is just surface mining. The real mining is about 500 metres down and this needs proper mining. That is why we are here in the state to discuss on how to actualise this objective.
“As a country, we have been trying to attract people to mining, but all we need is to have the big players to develop the sector. But, we have discovered that those that we have met talked about consistency, policy focus among others, and that has been the bane of developing the sector.
“Another related issue is the need to bring in the big players that can really invest in mining since much couldn’t be earned from the artisanal miners.
“There is no doubt that mining has the capacity to create jobs and wealth.That is why we have come to collaborate with the state government to revitalise the sector.
“We are ready to collaborate with the Osun State Government to develop the mining sector. It is evident that Osun and Zamfara have the largest gold deposits. We are ready to partner with the two states to ensure proper exploration.
“Osun is lucky because there is Segilola Mining Firm which is already in place. We want the government to support it”, he said.
In his remarks, Oyetola advocated the full participation of states in the mining sector.
He appealed to the concerned authorities to review and move mining matters from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List so as to allow full participation of the state governments in the sector.
Governor Oyetola who expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the recognition given to the state, said there is no doubt that mining remains a major economic breakthrough to the nation’s socioeconomic quagmire.
“I am quite excited to receive the minister here today. This shows that our effort to ensure proper mining is yielding positive results.