Ogun State Government says it will cooperate with the Federal Government in its efforts at stamping out illegal mining in the country, as well as key into the non-oil sectors to diversify the economy, in order to increase the revenue potentials of the State.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun stated this when he received the Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, who was on a courtesy call to his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, saying his administration would continue to give necessary support to miners who operate within the law and not tolerate anyone who degrade the environment.
“We are happy with measures put in place to stamp out illegal mining, so that everybody is brought into the tax bracket and ensure that mining is regulated and mining sites are restored to how they were before, to prevent environmental hazards.
“Ogun is number one in mining industry. We are contributing to the diversification of the non-oil sectors and helping in empowerment to bring 100 million people out of poverty in the country”, he stated.
Prince Abiodun appreciated the Minister, noting that the visit would enable the State collaborate with the Federal government on ways to improve the sector, which he said, would be beneficial to both governments.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Ogah revealed that, a law to prosecute illegal miners would soon be enacted and the mining industry would be opened to those who are willing to operate within the confines of the law.
According to him, “we will stamp out illegal mining in Nigeria. A law will come that will deal with illegal mining. If you are caught doing illegal mining, you will be sent to jail, advising interested person to get a license to operate in the country.
“You don’t need to go excavating land thereby creating environmental problems for the entire nation. We want you to come so that as you are mining, we help you to maintain the environment by rehabilitating the land at the end of the mining”, he explained.
He noted that the State, as number one in mineral deposits in the country, was benefitting from the 13 percent derivation given to solid minerals producing States, calling for more support to miners operating in the State, in the bid to create jobs for the people of the State.