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Makinde Seeks Constitution Amendment Over Mineral Resource Ownership

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Makinde Seeks Constitution Amendment Over Mineral Resource Ownership
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) being honoured as fellow of Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society by the President of the Society, Engr Obadiah Simon Nkom at the 56th Annual International Conference of the society held in Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo State Government

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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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-open Grazing Bill Into Law

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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-open Grazing Bill Into Law

A bill prohibiting open cattle grazing became law in Lagos State on Monday.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s aide on print media, Wale Ajetunmobi, who made this known , said that the governor signed the bill on Monday .

“Breaking! Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, this afternoon, signs the bill prohibiting open cattle grazing in Lagos into law,” he posted on Facebook.

READ ALSO: Anti-grazing Bill Becomes Law In Ondo

It was previously reported that the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, September 9, 2021, passed the bill entitled, “A bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes”.

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa subsequently directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit a clean copy to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.

The bill was passed after unanimous votes by the lawmakers at the sitting where the bill was read the third time.

 

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More Trouble Coming To South-East If IPOB Stops Anambra Governorship Poll – Ubah

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More Trouble Coming To South-East If IPOB Stops Anambra Governorship Poll - Ubah

Senator Ifeanyi Ubah has warned that there will be trouble if the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) insists that the November 6, 2021 election won’t hold.

Ubah is the candidate of the Young Progressives Party in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election.

Ubah, who represents Anambra South in the upper legislative chamber spoke on Monday in an interview with BBC Pidgin monitored .
IPOB had threatened that no election would hold in the entire South-East zone (Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia states) till it achieved its agitation for secession from the Nigerian state.

Police stations, offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission and other government institutions have been burnt by hoodlums in the past few months. Though security agents have blamed the violence on members of the IPOB’s military wing, the Eastern Security Network, as masterminds of the attacks, the proscribed group has denied the allegations.

On how the worsening security situation in the South-East could affect the November governorship election in Anambra, Ubah said: “We will talk to our brothers – the IPOB people, they should not say no election because if they say so, they will be imposing something we don’t want.

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“So, we have to tell them the importance. We know they have power but let them pipe down for us to do this election because if we don’t do this election proper, there will be trouble. Anambra is the head of Igbo nation.”

When asked what the sit-at-home order by IPOB had caused Anambra, Ubah said: “You cannot estimate (it), the trauma also is so much.

The truth about it is that our governors should wake up and engage with IPOB.

“It is IPOB that gave such an order; talk to them, tell them that we are losing. We are agitating, we must fight for our brother but we can’t also be fighting for our brother and suffering our people.”

Continuing, the senator said: “I believe in the Nigerian entity, I believe also that we, the Igbos, through the instrumentality of our state governments, can make Igbo a mini-nation inside the nation.

“We have everything as contained in the Nigerian constitution as a legitimate state, a state that can make what we want. I don’t think unless I change the name of the state; I believe that the more I get from Nigeria, I can now partner with our brothers abroad to bring the aspirations and what they want in the state.”

Ubah also noted that South-East politicians were working on a political solution to resolve the case of the detained IPOB leader.

 

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Why We’ll Continue To Lead Nigeria – Northern Elders

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Why We'll Continue To Lead Nigeria - Northern Elders

THE Northern Elders Forum has given insight why the north will continue to lead Nigeria.

The elders said that the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

The Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said: “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are president or vice president, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Lashes Out At Buhari Over Borrowing

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to play a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.”

The NEF’s spokesman added :“If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the president and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigerian president, the person can leave.”

 

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