By Henry Odeh
The executive governor of Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde has charged members of the Nigerian Mining And Geoscience Society (NMGS) to create a more robust synergy with the federal government of Nigeria through continuous engagement with a view to removing bottlenecks between licensing and accessibility of mineral resources.
The deputy governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan while hosting the delegation on behalf of the governor today at the secretariat, Ibadan, stated that for any state to make headway or record success from investment in the mining industry, then the challenges that always arise from the constitutional provisions which empowers the federal government in the exclusive list as the sole administrator of mineral resources in Nigeria as well as the constitutional provision which gives power to the state in the concurrent list over administration of land ownership and acquisition should be reconciled.
He added that it is one thing to acquire licence to explore mineral resources, it is another thing to have access to the mineral resources because licences may not take environmental degradation emanating from exploration of such mineral resources into consideration, and it is the duty of the state to administer its land which becomes a serious bottleneck between licensing and accessibility.
Earlier on, the Nigerian Mining and Geoscience society led by its co chairman, Ibadan chapter, comprising of all south western state in Nigeria, Professor Taiwo Rufus Ajayi who is also the chairman of NMGS Local Organizing Committee (LOC), stated that Oyo state is one of the most endowed states in Nigeria in terms of mineral deposits and if properly harnessed could become a major source of income for the state.
He added that the body will be hosting an international exhibition by year 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital for states to showcase their mineral endowments to the rest of the world.
The executive chairman of Oyo state mineral resource development agency, Mr. Abiodun Oni in his remark stated that the agency and the society are on the same page in operations and would continue to partner all relevant bodies and stakeholders in Nigeria with the aim of attracting global investors to the state adding that governor Makinde is passionate about making the industry more viable towards an improved IGR.
Engr. Rauf Olaniyan however charged members of the society to be more proactive in its approach to exploration of mineral resources in order to overcome the challenges posed by unnecessary bottlenecks adding that if mineral deposits in Nigeria are properly harnessed, it could comfortably replace oil in term of national and states internally generated revenues.