The federal government has called for synergy with states and local governments for enhanced solid minerals development, saying doing so would improve and shore up the nation’s revenue base thereby helping Nigeria to turn away from oil as mainstay of the economy.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel development, Sampson Ugah, made the call Thursday evening in Calabar during a courtesy visit on Governor Ben Ayade as part of his two-day working visit to the state.
H e said: “We are here on a two day working visit to share with you the vision and policy of President Buhari in developing the nation’s solid mineral deposits. We are also here to solicit your administration’s support in the development of the huge solid minerals found in Cross River State which is over 33.
“The president is keen to revive the solid minerals sector and diversify the economy and strongly believes that the exploitation of our mineral potentials serves as a strong foundation for the diversification of our economy.
“Achieving this lofty goal no doubt requires synergy between the federal, states and local governments hence the need for collaboration.”
In his reaction, Ayade commended the federal government for seeking to partner with the state and pledged his support.
“Oil is the past. Solid mineral is the present and the future. You have a responsibility to create a new prosperity agenda that can drive the solid mineral base of this country; agenda that can create wealth and put an end to hunger and extreme starvation,” he said.
He advised the Ministry to find ways of involving state governments in solid minerals supervision and administration in order to help the state forestall tensions which could arise between host communities and miners.