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FG ceding minerals buying centres to states to limit confusion

The federal government has disclosed that it is ceding the10 newly constructed prototype Minerals Buying centres to state governments in a bid to reduce friction between the two tiers of government on mining activities.

A statement from the ministry said the centres are to serve as standardisation centres to enable artisanal and small miners’ cooperatives and operators receive fair premiums for their labour as they concentrate on production.

It would be recalled that the 1999 Constitution made mining an exclusive prerogative of the Federal Government and this has been causing friction between the two tiers of government and has hampered the development of the mining sector.

Nevertheless, the Federal Government has said that it will use administrative procedures to get all the parties, including state governments, involved in the development of the sector.

In order to give teeth to the new development, the ministry had already handed over one of the 10 mineral buying centres to the Sokoto State Government on Tuesday after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the subnational government in Sokoto.

The deal was sealed recently as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while Governor Aminu Tambuwal signed on behalf of the state government.

Speaking shortly after the signing, Fayemi said with the renewed determination to strengthen collaborative efforts with state governments in natural resource governance, the prototype minerals buying centres were being ceded to the state governments.

He said Zamfara, Benue, Ebonyi and Sokoto states had expressed interest and the centres were being transferred to them.

The minister further disclosed that another measure that the Federal Government has adopted to urge the state governments to get involved in the development of the mining sector, is encouraging them to form special purpose vehicles with other stakeholders to operate the mines and make the business sustainable.