MINERALS ACT MUST BE AMENDED TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS BETWEEN FED GOVT, STATES – MASARI

Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari has called for an urgent amendment to the Minerals Act to resolve the contentious areas between the Federal and state governments in implementing the Act.

Masari spoke on Tuesday at the Government House in Katsina when he hosted the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Minerals Resources, Michael Inang.

The governor said the contentions in the Minerals Act are yet to be resolved between the Federal and the state governments, adding that they are constitutional issues.

He said: “The state governments has to give access to the surface land before you can extract underground mineral resources controlled by the Federal Government. That is the disconnect and a constitutional issue requiring amendment.

“An individual may be given a licence to prospect and later go into actual exploitation of the mineral deposits while the state government could refuse him access to the land.

“In some cases, the Federal Ministry of Minerals Development issues licences without consultation in a controversial area. There is also the need for developing the Minerals sector for diversification because diversification brings along with it unity.

“Every state would become a contributor to the Federation Account. Developing the Minerals sector means heavy investment, which requires support from the Central Bank f Nigeria (CBN) and other commercial lending agencies.”

Committee Chairman Michael Inang told Masari that the committee was in Katsina to engage the state on solid mineral deposits in the state.

He said this would ginger their interest in developing the Minerals sector for job creation as well as attracting foreign direct investment and increasing internally generated revenue (IGR) in the states.



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