The Anambra State Government has suspended all unlicensed miners of solid minerals in the State.
Governor Willie Obiano issued the directive when he received a delegation from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Abuja at the governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
The team which is for the Southeast Geo-political zone is on a Nationwide Monitoring of Revenue and Mining Activities in states of the Federation.
Their mission also includes sensitizing state governments on the dangers of not diversifying the economy as well as to liaise with the government’s to streamline activities in the Mining Industry.
Governor Obiano noted that his administration is committed to tightening up loose ends in the revenue process to ensure that monies accruable to government come in, also directed all licensed miners to work with the State’s Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure proper monitoring of their activities.
He called on the Federal Government to overhaul the process of issuing licenses to Miners and to actively involve the state government in the new arrangement, insisting that while his government remained committed to exploring the abundant solid minerals in the State for the benefit of her people, “we must know who is giving the license, we must know where the license is going to work and with immediate effect, I want all those mining activities suspended.”
Governor Obiano demanded streamlining of activities in the subsector to ensure that such mining activities do not contribute further to the erosion challenges the state already has.
He also urged the Federal Government to show more commitment towards research and geo-physical studies aimed at identifying solid minerals in the country and expressed confidence that the exercise will help throw the spotlight on the rich gas deposit in the state and the potential it holds for power generation.
Earlier, the Leader of the Delegation, Dr. Casimir Anyanwu, explained that the exercise became imperative because of the dwindling fortunes of the country’s mono-product, hydrocarbon, and the need for state governments to look in the direction of solid minerals as a viable option for sustaining the country’s economy, adding that over forty viable mineral resources have been identified to exist across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
Dr. Anyanwu who regretted that there is little or no cooperation between government’s regulatory agencies at various levels and other players in the Mining Subsector, harped on the need for synergy for a significant increase in the revenue accrual for all stakeholders.
Intimating the governor on his observations in the meeting with the visiting delegation, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Chinedu Emeka, identified a major challenge facing the mining subsector in the State as the manner in which the Federal Ministry of Mines and Industry has authorized the independent miners to operate independent of the state government and expressed the hope that the visit will help bring the state fully into the picture, ensure that communities whose lands are destroyed during mining are properly remediated and government gets its accruable revenue.