In an effort to industrialize mining in Nasarawa State, the Solid Minerals Development Fund of the federal government recently sought a cooperation with Governor Abdullahi Sule. Solid mineral potential is enormous in Nasarawa State, sometimes known as the “Home of Solid Minerals.” The largest reserves of numerous economically viable solid minerals, including cooking coal, barite, lead, zinc, and lithium, are known to exist in this state, which is also home to the majority of the active solid minerals development firms.
While doing so, the state continues to produce marble that is exported across the nation as well as barite, which is used to drill for oil. However, the reality is that currently, artisanal mining activities make up around 70% of all mining activity in Nasarawa State. The Solid Minerals Development Fund, whose mission is to collaborate with states and the corporate sector with the goal of permanently altering the mining industry, may have visited Governor Sule with this in mind. Speaking during the organization’s visit to the governor of Nasarawa State, the fund’s managing director, Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi, said that artisanal mining activities in that state were an abnormality, necessitating action. She argued that both it and the artists’ treatment should not be criminalized.
The fund is available to support artisanal miners.
Although Nasarawa State had a comparative security advantage over other states, the MD of the Solid Minerals Development Fund emphasized that the fund was still available to support artisanal miners in the state. She continued by saying that because Nasarawa State was so rich and prosperous, her organization sought to expand industrialization beyond limestone and cement. Fatima stated that the fund was stepping in to help by bringing together a variety of investment and financing capabilities. She noted that the lack of capital was a major challenge for the majority of the states, particularly because the states were unable to finance the solid minerals sector due to the conflict between paying for salaries, infrastructure, roads, and health care.
However, the Sule administration has also been working furiously to create a value chain for all of Nasarawa State’s substantial mineral reserves. Sule’s participation comes at a crucial time when the mining industry needs urgent reforms to reduce unlawful mining and reduce insecurity in Nasarawa State. In light of this, the governor of Nasarawa State stated recently in Lafia that it was crucial to bring up security anytime the development of solid minerals was discussed.
An executive Order was signed restricting all mining hosts.
As a result, Governor Abdullahi Sule recently signed an Executive Order preventing all mining host towns from granting Right of Occupancy of properties to entities seeking to conduct mining activities in the state in an effort to reform the solid minerals sector of Nasarawa State. At a news conference in Lafia, the state’s commissioner for environment and natural resources, Hon. Yakubu Kwanta, revealed this. According to Kwanta, the governor’s Executive Order No. 02, 2022, was signed to safeguard the state’s mining host communities from crime and other types of insecurity and to address the requirement for institutional support for the provision of technical assistance to artisanal miners.
The Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service’s Central Billing System is where all mining and other related taxes, levies, fees, and charges must be promptly paid by Mining Entities operating in the state, according to Executive Order No. 02, 2022. The Executive Order also limited those who held mining leases or licenses to the authority granted to them by the Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 and the Land Use Act of 1978, as well as to the responsibility of ensuring the integrity of the degraded land and environment as required by these Acts. All mining entities must make sure that physical construction of structures is allowed by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Nasarawa State Urban Development Authority.
One of the richest states in the nation due to large mineral deposits.
Managing Director of the Solid Minerals Development Fund Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi and her staff were welcomed by Governor Sule, who also stated that his administration was working feverishly to fully use Nasarawa State’s potential for solid minerals. Even though Nasarawa State is one of the richest in the nation due to its significant mineral deposits, the governor claims that “the state is yet to actualise these potentials.” Sule informed the MD of the Solid Minerals Development Fund that his administration has begun making measures to maximize the state’s potential for solid minerals. However, he claimed that the state was now considering the oil industry, but that his primary focus in Nasarawa was in the areas of the solid minerals.
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