By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
Worried by activities of illegal miniers in Bauchi State, the Governor, Mohammed Abubakar has warned that government will soon clamp down on illegal miners for profitable venture in the solid mineral sector of the economy.
The Governor, who expressed concern with the damage being done to the environment by activities of the illegal miners, said his administration is poised to regulate activities in the sub-sector in the state with a view to make the sub-sector more profitable to both the government and miners.
Abubakar, who was speaking while receiving a delegation from the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) led by a federal commissioner, Barrister Tukur Batutar, regretted that illegal miners destroy the environment in many parts of the state.
He also expressed dismay with the illegal activities of the miners merely working for the foreigners who buy the illegally mined mineral resources at low costs and export them to where they are bought and processed without commensurate profits accruing to Nigeria or the state where they are mined.
The Governor observed that minerals are the major alternative the state has a substitute to oil, and pointed out that illegal miners do not know amount of loss they have been causing the economy of the state and nation as well as the value of the minerals the state is losing to their activities.
Represented by his Deputy, Engineer Nuhu Gidado, the Governor the said the state has gone into partnerships with many foreign consultants from China, Hong Kong, Czech Republic and Lebanon that have interest in solid minerals that abound in different parts of the state.
He noted that with the passage of the Law on Public-Private-Partnership, Bauchi state has opened up windows of mutual investment opportunities for prospect investors to exploit, especially in solid mineral that has more returns on investments than oil”.
The Governor assured that Bauchi state government will partner with the Commission in maximizing the exploitation of other sources of non-oil revenues for the state.
Abubakar assured that with the resumption of oil search in the Benue Trough as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the renewed efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in this regard, Bauchi is sure of becoming an oil producing state.
Earlier, the Federal Commissioner, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Barrister Tukur Batutar who noted that Bauchi is one of the states that are heavily endowed with solid minerals, said that due to the poor state of the nation’s economy, the Commission is touring states of the federation to investigate how to tap resources to fund the federation accounts from non-oil sector.
He assured that the Commission is determined to ascertain the number of solid mineral companies working in the state and identify areas of their operation while investigating the scale of illegal mining taking place with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problem.
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.