The governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule has claimed that non-Nigerians operating the solid minerals sector are earning big.
The governor lamented that the foreigners take away the bulk of the resources and leave Nigerians with peanuts.
Sule revealed this at a public policy dialogue on Nigeria’s minerals and mining legislation, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on Monday.
He subsequently called for constitutional reforms to turn around the fortunes of the sector for the benefit of Nigerians.
According to him, “One community in Nasarawa got some kind of compensation of a very small amount of N700m. They were so excited but this was nothing compared to the time when lithium was running roughly about $76,000 per metric ton.
“If we are serious about the future of the economic situation of Nigeria, we must reform what we call the solid mineral sector and if we must reform, we must come up with policies and reform them to benefit Nigerians. If we don’t do that, we will just be joking.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Jonathan Gaza said the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment) Bill being considered proposes five per cent of the total revenue of all minerals mined to the host communities.
He said the bill, when passed, will allow for the establishment of a Mines Inspection and Environmental Agency to provide improved deeper oversight of mining activities and bridge the gap between the Federal and State Governments to empower the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee for effective and joint oversight.
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