Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has reiterated the vision of the Federal Government to reposition the mineral and mining sector to contribute optimally to the country’s revenue base and create job opportunities for the citizens.
Fayemi stated this on Thursday in a goodwill message he delivered at the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development’s Strategic Engagement virtual meeting with the 774 Local Government Council Chairmen and other critical Mining Sector Stakeholders, noted that the committee that drafted the roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian Mining sector in 2016, focused on building consensus on the critical actions required to move the sector forward including engaging all the stakeholders.
He advocated the need to continue to ensure that grassroots stakeholders were well positioned to participate meaningfully in the industry, adding that the local inhabitants must be the first to benefit from any mining activities in their locality including employment generation, poverty reduction and promotion of rural economies.
Fayemi, who was Minister of Mines and Steel Development between 2015 and 2018, stated the need to empower grassroots stakeholders to assist in eradicating exploitative labour practices and gender inequalities in the industry thereby promoting environmental justice as well as ensuring safety and security in mining communities.
He assured the delegates that Ekiti State and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) would continue to work with the Ministry to strengthen the objective of cooperative federalism and beneficial participation of all stakeholders in the sector.
Fayemi said, “I am pleased that the vision of positioning the Nigerian mining sector as a frontier of the Buhari administration’s goal to diversify our revenue base, and create shared prosperity for all, has made remarkable progress under the watch of Minister Adegbite and Minister of State Ogah.
“It seems like only yesterday that we set up a committee to draft the Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector. The committee which comprised critical stakeholders from across the country did a good job in building consensus on the critical actions required to move the sector forward.
“I am pleased that the same spirit of consultation that midwifed the roadmap, is the same spirit that is driving the implementation – which is why the authorities at the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development have deemed it fit to engage the leadership of the third tier of government – the Local Government Chairpersons, and other critical stakeholders in the sector.
“As we all know, all mining is local. Local inhabitants of communities at the grassroots should therefore always be the first to benefit from mining activities in their domains, including the generation of employment opportunities, the reduction of poverty, and the promotion of rural economies.
“In keeping with the provisions of the roadmap, we must continue to ensure grassroots stakeholders are well positioned to benefit optimally from mining activities going on in their respective communities.
“Conversely, the local communities are the ones primarily affected by the negative impacts of illegal mining, harmful mining practices, and the other legacy challenges the industry has been working to address, and are therefore best positioned to lead the efforts in addressing them.
“They are the ones we must empower to help in eradicating exploitative labour practices and gender inequities in the industry, promoting environmental justice and sustainability in mining operations, ensuring safety and security in mining communities in the country, and protecting our commonwealth from economic saboteurs.
“Ekiti state is proud to have supported the ministry by playing host to the 3rd Edition of the Annual National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development in November 2019.
“I would however like to use this opportunity to assure you all that the Government of Ekiti State and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) would continue to work with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to deepen the objective of cooperative federalism and beneficial participation of all stakeholders in the Nigerian mining sector.