Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said the state produced a total of 3.7 million tons of solid mineral products in 2021, urging for increased investment from private actors to rev output.
Obaseki disclosed this during a two-day Solid Minerals Stakeholders’ Meeting, themed “Addressing the Gaps in the Mineral Sector of Edo State,” organized in Benin City, by the Ministry of Mining, Oil and Gas in conjunction with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor, who was represented by the Edo State Commissioner for Finance, Joseph Eboigbe, said Edo ranked sixth in solid minerals output before his administration, but with improvement in the business environment, the state has scaled up to the fourth position.
He said “the mineral production statistics 2021 released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Edo State achieved a combined output of 3.7 million tons of mineral products and we believe we can do better.
“As a state government, we are well aware of the provisions of the constitution, the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act of 2007 and other relevant regulations governing the mining sector with respect to roles of the Federal and State governments. It should be emphasized that there are opportunities that fall within the concurrent jurisdiction.
“This provides the opportunity for the state to act and further enhance the sector as mining has the capacity to provide jobs in a manner comparable to agriculture. Our people can become gainfully employed through activities in the mining sector, hence, we are not deterred. There are ways that we can extract value at the level of the state,” he added.
The governor also reiterated his administration’s commitment to providing a conducive business environment for investors, noting: “Edo State will continue to provide a conducive business environment for legitimate miners to thrive because if the sector grows, Edo State will grow.
“There’s no gainsaying the fact that a well-organized mineral sector is key to the diversification policies of the government. Mining may, in the near future, overtake crude oil exploration in national discourse.
“This is why efforts are being made to strengthen and improve our infrastructure and in the last few years, my administration has developed several critical sectors of the state’s economy like roads, land administration, security enhancement and electricity liberalization, among others, in order to support the development of mining activities.”
He noted that the state now has the privilege of hosting two mega cement companies, including BUA Cement and Dangote Cement, which will encourage more companies to invest in the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Mining, Oil and Gas, Hon. Ethan Uzamere said the state is sanitizing the mining sector and is open to investment to increase output.
He noted, “This forum is an opportunity to understand where we are, and what is required to move the sector forward. In addressing the gaps, we must look critically into giving direction to a state mining policy, adding value to licenses already issued to investors in Edo State, taking full advantage of the state’s security architecture, reducing the number of illegal operations in the sector, taking advantage of the harmonized system of revenue and pushing for more Public-Private Partnership arrangement to attract investment.”
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