Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. abdullahi Sule has said that his government is working seriously to establish a solid minerals laboratory in the State with a view of boosting the expected revenue from the sector.
The Governor made the disclosure at a stakeholders interactive meeting for actors in the mining sector on Thursday (October 20, 2022) in Lafia.
Governor Sule who was represented at the occasion by Barr. Aliyu Ubandoma, Secretary to State Government (SSG), said the establishment of the laboratory was part of the initiative to add value to the minerals and ensure that the State gets the needed revenue from the sector.
“In the shortest possible time, our solid minerals value chain development would stand out, once the laboratory is in place and operational.
“Apart from providing quality solid minerals related services for clients in the sector, institutions of higher learning in the State will also utilise it to promote research and knowledge development,” Sule added.
The Governor also promised to beef up security in all mining sites in the State to ensure smooth operation by the miners.
He explained that the State Government would focus its attention in the sector to ensure increased revenue for the development of the State.
The Governor also said he would ensure that miners operating in the State pay all the necessary taxes to enable Nasarawa State benefit fully.
Earlier, Hon. Yakubu Kwanta, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources said the meeting was aimed at getting the inputs of stakeholders on modalities to develop the sector for mutual benefits of the government and operators.
The Commissioner explained that the government wants to sanitise the sector and block all revenue leakages in the area by ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page.
Mr Kwanta said the government invited Regulators, Mining Companies, Artisanal Miners, Mining Cooperative Groups, Mineral Vendors, Traditional Rulers and Critical Stakeholders of mining host communities to the meeting to proffer solutions on the way forward and to inform them about the plans by the government.
The Environment and Natural Resources Commissioner therefore, assured that the ministry would immediately put machinery in place to ensure full implementation of government plans to turn around the sector for good.
On his part, Mr. Yusuf Dalhatu, Nasarawa State Chairman of Miners Association of Nigeria, commended the government for the opportunity and initiative to develop the sector.
Dalhatu however said a lot needed to be done if the government want to succeed in the new plan to ensure that miners and mining companies get register and licenced before they operate as well as pay the taxes due for the State.
He lamented that a lot of illegal mining activities are going on in vatually all the 13 Local Government Areas of the State as such, the government is loosing revenue.
He therefore suggested that a tax force be put in place to go to mining sites and take inventory of mining companies operating and also monitor their activities to ensure proper and prompt payment of tax.
The highlight of the meeting includes suggestions by stakeholders on what the government must do and how to do it on order sanitise the sector and get the required revenue to develop the State.