Makinde Seeks Constitution Amendment Over Mineral Resource Ownership
Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Tuesday called for a review of the exclusive legislative list of the Federal Government in the 1999 Constitution so as to delist the control of mineral resources from the list.
The governor, who spoke during a courtesy visit to him by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr, Uchechukwu Ogah as well as while attending the opening ceremony of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) in Ibadan, said that Oyo State was ready to partner with the Federal Government to develop the solid minerals sector in a bid to boost revenue generation.
While addressing participants of the annual conference, Makinde said that it was important that the control of mineral resources be delisted from the exclusive legislative list so as to help unlock the potential of the sector for economic growth.
He said that the state would readily support the national aspiration on the mining sector‘s commitment to the development of the sector and disclosed the provision of two hectres of land for the international gemstone market in the Akinyele area of the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, explained the readiness of Makinde’s administration to join hands with the Federal Government to develop the international gemstone market located in Ibadan, the state capital.
He added that if mineral resources were well-harnessed, the country could potentially improve its revenue generation.
Makinde said: “Mineral development and exploration are currently placed on the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution. This has retarded the development of the sector and eliminated direct state and local people’s participation.
“We know what this means in real terms: the state and the people have to wait to get a share of their natural resources instead of being the ones to share them.
“Well, the good news is that recently, Zamfara State was allowed to mine and own its gold deposits. It signals that it is time to again push for resource control for all states.As a matter of fact and urgency, here in Oyo State, we call for the delisting of the mineral resource ownership and development from the exclusive list.”
At the 56th annual conference of the society, held at the University of Ibadan International Conference Centre, Ibadan, where the governor was conferred with a Fellowship of the Society, Makinde said that the decision to host the conference falls within his government’s agenda to diversify the economy.
He said: “We are here to support the national aspirations and that is why when the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Solid Mineral Development Agency, Biodun Oni, and the Honourable Minister came and said we should give land for the gemstone market, we urgently moved ahead to do that.
“So, we will work together to ensure that it is developed rapidly.
“I must also mention that Ojoo (Ibadan) is probably where prices of most minerals are determined for Nigeria. It is an underground market but we want them to come into the open, trade freely and pay necessary taxes to the government.
“So, I will ask that the ministry should work with us to develop the market and we are ready to do everything possible to ensure it takes off as quickly as possible.”
He added: “This administration is standing on four major pillars; education, security, health and expansion of our economy. Hosting of the international conference actually falls within the expansion and diversification of our economy, which also ties into the national aspiration of diversification of the economy.
“Oyo State is blessed. The diversification of our economy is also broken into three broad areas based on the comparative advantage that we have in Oyo State. We are looking at agriculture and agro-processing simply because Oyo State has a landmass of about 29,000square kilometres.
“The same thing with infrastructure. We are located 110km outside of Lagos. If you are going anywhere in the Northern part of the country and you have to go by road, you must pass through Oyo State. So, we are out there, and if our infrastructure targets our economy, we believe a lot of people will come, and we can utilize that to expand our economy.
“Also, we believe that if we have to move away from oil, solid mineral development is an area that should assist us to wean us from just waiting for oil money to come from Abuja.”
According to the governor, the current administration in the state has provided a conducive environment for all the investors to thrive, saying the state has a framework that is designed to make the state a mining destination that is attractive to local and foreign investors.
“For the mining sector, we have a framework for the systematic development of our mineral potential. It is designed to make our state a mining destination, attractive to local and foreign investors.
“Our people from the Pacesetter Mineral Development Company (PMDC) and the Oyo State Mineral Development Agency (OYSMIDA) are present here today. They are ready to talk to you about this framework but let me lead by saying we have three entry levels for investors.”
Governor Makinde explained that if the natural resources that were available in the state could be tapped, they would enhance the economy of the state.
Earlier, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Ogah, said he was in the state on a working visit to attend the 56th Annual International Conference of the Nigerian Society of Geoscientists and Exhibitions, held in Ibadan.
He said the courtesy visit was to greet the governor and share with him some worthwhile thoughts that impact positively on mutual interests of his (Makinde) government and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Ogah tasked the Oyo State Government on the need for both governments to cherish and sustain mutually beneficial partnership on mining development.
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According to him, Oyo State is richly endowed with different types of mineral resources in commercial quantity and grade in several locations across the state.
The minister, who appreciated the state government for the donation of two hectares of land for the gemstone market, pointed out that the development showed commitment to enhancing the development of the solid minerals sector and increase the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR of the state.
According to him, these minerals are being explored and exploited by different mining companies including precious stones such as tourmaline, aquamarine, Amethyst, agate, garnet, crystal quartz etc.
He said: “Our primary goal is to use the industry as a springboard for the generation of well-paying jobs for our teeming unemployed youth population; creation of wealth and empowerment of our rural communities; enhancing government revenue-generating capacity; supply of mineral raw materials for industrial and economic development; and increasing foreign exchange earnings for the country,” he explained.
Similarly, while opening the conference, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the minister of state said his administration was committed to diversifying the nation’s economy away from dependence on oil and gas, using mining and agriculture sectors as viable options.
He added that his administration would continue to engage professional bodies in the development of Nigeria, adding that the centrality of the development of the mineral and energy sectors in the rejigging of the nation’s economy had necessitated the roll-out of a series of policy initiatives aimed at ensuring the economic growth of the country.
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BREAKING: PDP Crisis Worsens As Chairman Ayu Steps Aside, Deputy Takes Over
As an indication of a worsening crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) , its National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu on Tuesday stepped aside.
Ayu was replaced by the Deputy National Chairman, (North) Umar Iliya Damagum.
Damagum will assume office as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, pending the determination of the case in court.
A High Court in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, had restrained embattled Ayu from parading himself as chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023 for hearing.
A member of the PDP from Benue, Terhide Utaan, who is the plaintiff before Justice W. I Kpochi, obtained the order restraining Ayu from parading himself as national chairman of the party.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi after obtaining the court order, the plaintiff said following the suspension of Ayu by his Igyorov Ward Exco on Sunday, it was wrong for him to keep up with the office of national chairman and further disunite the party.
Ayu was suspended late last week for anti-party activities in the wake of the party’s loss in the presidential election.
But in a Monday statement by his media aide Simon Imobo-Tswam, the former lawmaker argued that only the ward lacked the powers to suspend him.
Ayu’s political rival in the PDP and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday, said he was elated that a Benue State ward exco passed a vote of no confidence in him.
“I am not from Benue State, but I am happy, and now that Benue State has done it, we would now come out and say we are in support of it,” he said.
Prior to this development, there had been intense calls for Ayu to step aside for a Southerner to take over as the Chairman of the party.
BREAKING: Obi Speaks On Joining Tinubu’s Unity Government
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has given insight into what his position will be if he is invited to join Bola Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
Tinubu, the president-elect and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been taken to court by Obi over the outcome of the February 25 election.
The camp of the APC candidate had hinted that the former Lagos Governor would form an all-inclusive government to carry all his opponents along in his government.
While featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Obi was asked what he would do if he was called upon to be a member of Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
In his response, Obi said he was still challenging the process of the election and the declaration.
According to him, the process of the election should be put right first before anyone could talk of the Government of National Unity.
“The first thing I want to see is that the process is right. The process through which you achieve anything is far more fundamental than what you do thereafter. Let us go back first, I am challenging the process and the declaration.
“Until we get it right, then we can talk about a government of national unity. Otherwise, we would go and sit down and say that those who stopped a train and kidnapped people can call us to discuss peace when they have people in captivity. Until things are done rightly, we will be encouraging what we don’t need to encourage,” he said.
When he was asked whether or not he would accept the outcome if it is not in his favour, Obi said he would be shocked if the court upholds Tinubu’s election.
His words: “Issues about the election will be sorted out in court. I will be shocked if this country goes on with that situation. It will then stand that it is a corporate criminalised country. We can’t allow it. We need to start unbundling this criminality.
“When people were talking about structure, it is this fraud and criminality that we witnessed that they were talking about, and we want to unbundle it for the sake of our children.”
The former Anambra State governor said he believes the judiciary would do the right thing.
LP Chieftain Flays Return Of 1999 PDP as Ibori, Henchmen Seek Political Relevance In Delta APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State is gradually taking on the colouration of 1999 PDP with all of former Governor James Ibori’s ‘boys’ now leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in droves and finding a new home in APC to swell its ranks ahead of the guber elections on Saturday, March 18, 2023, according to a chieftain of Labour Party (LP), Chief Delly Ajufo.
Ajufo described the development as “a gathering of vultures to consume the soul of Delta State,” noting that Ibori, who has suffered a pariah status under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s 8-year administration, now has a chance to reclaim his “godfather or grand commander” position over his godson, guber candidate of APC and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
According to him, Ibori looks to resume his godfather position as Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State, a position that slipped out of his hands since his stint in the UK prison.
Ajufo said Deltans needed to be wary of Senator Omo-Agege’s governorship bid, and see it as a backdoor for Ibori to re-take control of the management of the state’s resources in a manner likely to be worse than the 1999 – 2007 era when he was governor. He warned that Deltans could not have forgotten how Ibori raped the fortunes of the state in his eight-year administration by corruptly enriching himself and his cronies (including Sen. Omo-Agege) that earned him a UK prison sentence. He described the APC as PDP-2 trying to upstage Okowa’s PDP-1 from power, saying Deltans should reward both of them with electoral defeat since both parties have run the country (APC – 8 years) and Delta State (PDP – 24 years) badly.
He argued that none of them deserves to occupy the seat of power in Asaba come May 29, 2023.
The Labour Party chieftain also said the gathering of Ibori’s political family under APC is dark and ominous for the state, and urged the electorate to reject both ‘PDAPC’ at the polls on Saturday, and vote for Labour Party (LP) as the only political breath of fresh air that Delta people need now.
“We must sever our links with the people from both parties that have collectively ruined the fortunes of this oil-rich state by running it aground since 1999,” he noted.
Ajulo added that Ibori trying to reclaim his faded godfather position, using APC as his new launch pad was tantamount to vultures gathering to feast on the carcass of a dying animal, a situation that Deltans should not wait to see but to halt it in its tracks outright.
“This is a gathering of vultures and it does not augur well for our beloved Delta State,” said Ajufo.
“Ibori wants to use the APC backdoor to reclaim his faded godfather status since all his allies are dumping PDP in droves and moving over to APC. The signs are not good for Deltans who have been pauperised for so many years in spite of the huge oil wealth that comes to the state monthly. I urge Deltans to see through the evil that’s about to befall them if they elect Ovie Omo-Agege. Of course, PDP is dead, going by February 25, 2023 election. There is no need to bother about it. Deltans will bury whatever remains of it in the guber elections.
“The nightmare we must all now resist is APC taking over. Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege was SSG and Commissioner under Ibori’s eight-year reign of wasted resources in Delta from 1999 – 2007. A vote for Omo-Agege is a vote for the return of Ibori into Delta’s mainstream, with his baggage of corruption and mismanagement of state resources. Delta is tired of another Tinubu returning to pillage the coffers of the state for his selfish interests. We cannot afford to ‘carry last’ on this matter.”
The chief urged Deltans to do for Labour Party what they did on February 25 when they massively voted for Labour Party and Peter Obi, saying they should do the same for the party’s governorship candidate, Deacon Ken Pela and all House of Assembly candidates. He called on all women to look the way of Labour Party’s candidate, Dcn Ken Pela for the governorship election, adding, “We also call on women to rally their own fellow woman, an educationist and erudite scholar, Prof. Nwabogo-Umukoro, to represent and champion women’s causes in government at the highest decision-making level.”
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