BY AHMED TUKUR, LAFIA – The Nasarawa state government has threatened to clampdown on mining companies whose illicit activities deprive the State from joining the privileged group of those currently enjoying 13 per cent derivation from the deposits of mineral resources in their domains.
The State commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Musa Ibrahim, says the present administration is committed to sustainable development in the state and will therefore not tolerate any act of economic sabotage against the State and its peace-loving people.
Ibrahim said there are positive signals that the North Central state will soon begin to enjoy the privileges that accrue to states with mineral resources.
Speaking when he received an ‘Outstanding Leadership
Award of Excellence’ from the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) in Lafia, the state capital, the Commissioner however said such privileges will only be extended to the state when
royalty is paid to the Federal Government by mining companies operating in the state.
“Federal government has enlisted Nasarawa among the leading states with mineral resources and we will start enjoying the privileges with the level of our commitment in contributing to the national treasury”
He said the state has been shortchanged over the years, warning that the present administration will no longer condone a situation where some mining firms abuse existing protocols by going outside the state to declare their products and proceeds thereof.
Unless resources mined in the state are declared within the state, our revenue base and derivation will not rise. Also, we will continue to suffer the consequences.
“Whatever the mining companies pay to the Federal government as royalty will determine our level of revenue generation from the federal coffers as derivation”, Ibrahim explained.
He warned that henceforth the state government will take legal action against defaulting mining companies that sneaked out of the state without declaring the volume and value of their mined products
“The ministry has over the years lost revenue due to defaulting firms that clandestinely tapped wealth from the State’s abundant natural resources without any benefits accruing to the State government”, he said
The Commissioner, who expressed happiness at receiving the award, dedicated it to Governor Abdullahi Sule for giving him the opportunity to serve the state and its people.