Powerful Nigerians Are Seeking Release Of Illegal Chinese Miners – Minister

 

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, on Friday, said powerful Nigerians are seeking the release of some Chinese illegal miners arrested in Osun on May 4.

Adegbite, who was speaking to journalists in Abuja, said the Osun state government has resisted the efforts so far.

On May 4, some 17 Chinese nationals and nine Nigerians were arrested by the Osun State Joint Task Force (JTF) for illegal mining in the state.

READ ALSO: 17 Chinese, 9 Others Arrested For Illegal Mining In Osun

The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Osun State Governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said the illegal miners were arrested following a coordinated sting operation around the Ilesa and Ife axis of the state.

He explained that the illegal miners had polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation.

However, Minister Adegbite said the government had been pressured to release the offenders.

“There have been pressures, especially in Osun,” he said. “There has been pressure on the state government that these people should be released. Because most of these people are working for Nigerians. Nigerians in high positions, Nigerians in authority. But, thank God, the Osun state government has so far resisted this pressure.”

Special courts for offenders

At the briefing on Friday, the Minister also intimated that the federal government is working to set up special courts in every state of the federation to check the activities of illegal miners.

Nigeria has massive mining resources and the federal government says it wants to position the sector to contribute three per cent to GDP by 2025.

However, the activities of illegal miners continue to undermine progress.

In April 2019, the government banned mining in Zamfara state, after security forces considered illegal mining to be behind an ongoing spree of violence and kidnapping in the region.

Adegbite said part of the problem has been the inability to prosecute past offenders due to the clogged nature of the nation’s courts.

“In the past, we’ve had challenges for people we’ve caught,” Adegbite said on Friday. “Because the federal high courts in every state are so busy. Whenever we file a case, we find that it gets lost in the long list of cases. And it is not unusual for you to find somebody who had been arraigned in court to be caught again doing the same offence.

“So sometimes early this year, around January, I went to see the Chief Justice of the Federation on this and he advised that we should work with the Chief Judge of the Federal High Courts and the Attorney-General to designate some particular courts within the existing court system in every state for mining offences. So that we can have accelerated hearings and, of course, do justice with these people. So this set of people that have been caught now, we’ve asked the state to prosecute them to the maximum extent of the law.”

FG To Review Mining Activities

Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, NigeriaThe Federal Government says it is soliciting the collaboration of states endowed with natural resources, in order to review mining activities.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said this when he visited Governor Tanko Al-makura after a tour of some mining sites in Nasarawa state.
He said the purpose of his visit was to review mining activities in the country and the state.

“We had a purpose for the visit, we wanted to examine precisely what is happening to the active mines, some mines have been active and then dormant since the 50’s and what has been done with the abandoned mines, what do we need to do, to reclaim the mines”

The Minister then revealed three templates which the ministry is working onto achieve the roadmap of the ministry.

“The era of producing raw minerals and shipping them out of the state is gone. Anybody who want to mine in Nasarawa or in any other place must be prepared to benefit and process locally, so that they can employ more people and use the minerals for domestic benefits.

“We are very determined to enforce provisions in the mining and minerals act in support of the host communities because we believe that the host communities are being at the receiving end.

“The law asked for consent to be given by the host communities and consent has been abused.

“The governor said the idea is what the state has been clamouring for and if followed will improve the revenue base of the state.

“I want to appeal very passionately that this is very important if it is done I believe the economic status of the state will be lifted”, he said.

With the tour by the Minister and his team to the state and three other states, it is expected that mining activities will take a new turn.

NNPC To Recover Missing Petrol Worth Over 130m Litres

NNPC To Recover Missing Petrol Worth Over 130m LitresThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is set to fully recover over 130 million litres of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, stored in the facilities of two indigenous downstream operators.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Chief Operating Officer, downstream of the corporation, Mr Henry Ikem-Obih said the infraction was discovered earlier in the year when the corporation had need to access the product stored in the two depots belonging to the companies in Apapa, Lagos state.

“We instructed the Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) a subsidiary of NNPC, to send additional trucks to those locations to move products for distribution aimed at meeting a supply shortfall we discovered in the market, but after days of not being able to access the terminals we had to take a decision as NNPC management to invite auditors and inspectors to go and do a physical check on the inventories,” he said.

Ikem-Obih said the product is part of 11 billion Naira worth of missing NNPC fuel.

He further disclosed that the company had set up two committees to evaluate the roles played by some of its staff in the illegal product evacuation.

Nigeria’s Executives Ratify Lake Chad Basin Charter

Lake-Chad-BasinThe Executive Arm of Government in Nigeria has ratified the Lake Chad Basin Charter signed in 2012.

The Charter was ratified at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja on Wednesday.

It would be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.

Threatened By Climate Change

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who hinted reporters about the ratification after the council’s meeting, said the lake had been threatened by climate change and that effort was being made to ensure the lake is safe from extinction.

The council at the meeting looked at the last one year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, assessing the progress so far, the challenges encountered and the tasks members of the council still have to tackle.

After the meeting the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the council also considered developments in the mining sector and looked at more exploration needed in that sector.

Poor monitoring had affected the activities of the ministry in terms of checking miners’ activities to ensure that it conforms with standards.

Do Something Urgent

To boost monitoring, however, the Federal Executive Council approved the direct procurement of four-wheel patrol vehicles produced by Nissan for Mines Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

Dr. Fayemi cited the killing of miners in Zamfara State, saying that the ministry for over a decade, does not have surveillance vehicles to check such unfortunate incidence and oversee mining activities in other states.

According to him, the approval was a show of the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to developing mining activities in Nigeria.

The vehicles will cost 326,781 million Naira.

The assessment of the performance of the council is coming one year after the cabinet was constituted by President Buhari months after he was sworn in.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in August urged rich countries to do something urgent to save the Lake Chad from extinction, arising from the effects of climate change.

he made the call at a meeting with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, in Abuja.

President Buhari warned that the failure to regenerate the Lake Chad would lead to another round of migration by the people living in the areas.

The President said Nigeria and the other countries of the Lake Chad Basin lacked the billions of dollars required to channel water from the Congo Basin into the lake to check its rapid depletion.

“Those living in the Lake Chad region have suffered untold hardship and displacement because of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.

“If there is no farming and fishing, they will dare the desert to migrate.

“Unless the developed countries make concerted efforts to complete the feasibility study, mobilize resources and technology to start the water transfer from the Congo Basin, the Lake Chad will dry up.

“The people will go somewhere and they will create problems for those countries,” the President told the visiting UN official.

The lake is said to have shrunk by over 90 per cent in the last 50 years, a reason the Nigerian government is making efforts to save the lake.

Nigeria’s Executive Council Assesses One Year Performance

fecThe Federal Executive Council in Nigeria on Wednesday assessed its performance in the past one year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Briefing reporters after the Council’s meeting, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the meeting reflected on the progress so far, the challenges encountered and the tasks members of the council still have to tackle.

According to him, the Council approved the direct procurement of four-wheel patrol vehicles produced by Nissan for Mines Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

He cited the killing of miners in Zamfara State, saying that the ministry for over a decade, does not have surveillance vehicles to check such unfortunate incidence and oversee mining activities in other states.

According to him, the approval was a show of the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to developing mining activities in Nigeria.

The vehicles will cost 326,781 million Naira.

Also the Federal Executive Council ratified the Lake Chad Basin Charter signed in 2012.

The charter will be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.

The minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who also briefed reporters after the council’s meeting said the lake had been threatened by climate change and that effort was being made to ensure the lake is safe from extinction.

The assessment is coming one year after the cabinet was constituted by President Buhari months after he was sworn in.

The delay had drawn criticisms and had impact on economic activities in the nation, with most investors waiting for the minister’s to be named.

Sada Advocates Review Of Mining Laws In Nigeria

minister_of_mines_and_steel_development_mohammed_musa_sada_10The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Mohammed Sada, has advocated a review of the Nigeria’s mining policy to attract more investments into the sector and increase its contributions to the Federation Account.

The Minister said vast revenue generating opportunities existed in the sector but lamented that a dearth of domestic and foreign investments had kept development in the sector on a gradual decline.

He said mining was a risky business making it necessary for the Federal Government to create an enabling environment that would encourage investors.

At a press conference organised by the ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Sada gave an end of year report, listing the activities, challenges and projections of the sector.

Top on the list of issues raised by the Minister was the dearth of investments in the sector which has continued on a decline as a result of an unfavourable mining policy.

The Minister said mines and steel development was not a short term investment but a continuous one which must be consistently built upon, making it necessary for the medium and long term road-maps to be put together for the sector.

Mr Sada further said there could be no industrial revolution in Nigeria without a virile steel and mining sector and called for intensive efforts to boost the sector, with attention on funding, infrastructural development, human resources and curbing of illegal mining and insecurity.

Mines Ministry Creates 1.2 Million Jobs, Discovers New Minerals

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Sada

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada has stated that the ministry has facilitated the production of over six million tonnes of mineral products in the country thereby, creating over a million jobs.

Speaking at the ongoing ministerial platform, Mr. Sada revealed that 1.254 million jobs were created from operations in 1710 quarries, 223 small scale mining operations, 195 mining leases and 2048 exploration licenses.

He stressed the need for professionalism in the industry and listed Ajaokuta Steel Company as one of the companies suffering effects of ‘unprofessionalism’ in the country.

According to the Minister, issues in the company range from infrastructural challenges to privatization, legal issues to change of management and even technical competency.

He noted that ministry is encouraging group mining activities which he claim will help curb illegal mining in rural area, adding that the ministry has commenced education of people living in communities where illegal mining thrives so as to check the menace of illegal mining.

Mr Sada said the education involves informing them to come together to do things in a better way rather than going solo. He also advised that such communities must get legal advice before indulging into community development that involves exploration or mining activities.

Discovery

The minister stated that 11 additional minerals have been discovered in the country in the last one year bringing the number of minerals in the county to a total of 44.

He expressed the need for dissemination of information through the right sources to the right people that will get involved in wealth creation mostly from industrial mineral.

On the ministry’s initiative to clean up dormant mining titles in a “Use it or Lose it” exercise, Mr. Sada said over 10,000 dormant and inactive titles were mopped up into active and productive mineral rights while all non-performing titles were revoked; thus increasing revenue generation and activities by mineral titles owners.

“80 per cent of over 10,000 mineral licenses are held in drawers by people who don’t need it and are not using it; people who have the rights are really not interested in developing mineral while people who are interested are out there looking for these rights.” Mr. Sada said

 

JUNE 12: 20 YEARS AFTER                  [WED] 12/06/13

ANN CAM:

TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY, NIGERIA RECORDED A WATERSHED IN ITS ELECTORAL PATH AS NIGERIANS FROM ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY THREW RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC INTOLERANCE OVERBOARD AND TROOPED OUT ENMASS TO VOTE THE NOW LATE MOSHOOD KASHIMAWO ABIOLA.

 

CONTESTING ON THE PLATFORM OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE LATE ABIOLA BEAT HIS NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONVENTION CHALLENGER, BASHIR TOFA WITH 2.25 MILLION VOTES IN A KEENLY CONTESTED RACE.

 

ALTHOUGH THE RESULT OF THAT ELECTION WAS ANNULLED BY THE REGIME OF GENERAL IBRAHIM BABANGIDA, THE JUNE 12, 1999 ELECTION THEREAFTER BECAME A MARKER IN NIGERIA’S ELECTORAL HISTORY, ADJUDGED TO BE “THE FREEST AND FAIREST ELECTION IN THE COUNTRY”.

 

TODAY, RALLIES WILL BE HELD IN MOST SOUTH WEST STATES EVEN AS STAKEHOLDERS CONTINUE TO EULOGISE THE LATE BUSINESS MOGUL.

 

Jonathan To Lead Dangote, Otudeko And Others On Economic Mission

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria will on Monday lead a team of key members of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team to the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Reuben Abati in a press release described the trip as part of the president’s efforts to promote rapid national economic growth and development; as well as an opportunity to assemble with global leaders to brainstorm on new strategies for accelerating economic diversification and the availability of essential infrastructure in Africa.

“President Jonathan is scheduled to leave Abuja for Cape Town tomorrow and will, at the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, undertake a state visit to South Africa ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.” Abati said.

The Forum themed “Delivering on Africa’s Promise” is expected to provide a platform for African leaders in government, business and civil society and their counterparts from other regions of the world to discuss further on the continent’s integration agenda and “renew their commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development that will further unlock Africa’s potentials and talents.”

The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Governors of Zamfara, Anambra and Bayelsa states, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Honourable Abubakar Momoh, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Jim Ovia, Chief Oba Otudeko and Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Several ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada will also be on the presidential delegation.

The President will also participate in the Grow Africa Investment Forum and thereafter honour an invitation by his South African counterpart, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma to discuss ways of improving trade and economic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.

During the visit, he will also deliver an address to the South African Parliament, co-chair a meeting of the South Africa/Nigeria Business Forum with President Zuma and hold separate meetings with the Chairmen of the Management Boards of MTN, Toyota and Nissan in South Africa.

At the conclusion of his visit to South Africa on Thursday, President Jonathan will proceed to Namibia for a one-day state visit to hold talks with President Hifikepunye Pohamba and attend a meeting with the country’s business community.

President Jonathan is expected to return to Nigeria on Friday, May 10.

FG Aims To Boost Mining Sector, Calls For Investment

The Federal Government is putting in place strategies to encourage investments in the nation’s mining sector.

Specifically, the Nigeria minerals and mining act 2007 and the minerals and metal policy are being reformed to provide the necessary legal framework for private sector investment in the sector.

Speaking at the inauguration of the solid minerals development fund, the minister of mines and steel development, Architect Musa Sada explained that the reform in the sector will provide an alternative to revenue generated from oil and gas.

The chairman of the board, Mr Utsu Adie said that the solid minerals sector contributed 54 billion naira to the country’s gross domestic product between 2007 and 2010.

Jonathan gives Ministers two weeks to vet Ribadu’s report

In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.

The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.

According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”

The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.

The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama  Pepple.

Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.

The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.

According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.

The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”