Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said the state has never received 13 percent derivation accruing to states following the exploration of mining in the state.
He pleaded with the Minister of Steel and Mines, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, to ensure Plateau gets their 13 percent derivation and approve the license for the establishment of Plateau Mineral Develompent Company.
Lalong disclosed this at the weekend with Ogah paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Jos.
Lalong, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sunni Tyoden, appreciated the Minister for the visit and pledged a harmonious working relationship for mining exploration in the state for the develompent of the country.
“Another issue of concern to us is the issue of 13 percent derivation. Everybody knows that a lot of mining is going on in Plateau, but the state has not receive anything with regards to 13 percent derivation that Federal Government gives to states,” he said.
“Most of this mining is done by artisans and the current partners who carry out the exploration get away with the whole thing and the little that is given to the Federal Government ends there. We hope that the Federal Government will review this and ensure that we get our due share.”
Lalong lamented over the spread of mining ponds across the state which have become death trap for the citizens and urged Federal Government to make funds available for reclamation of such lands for agricultural activities.
“Some of the areas of our concern has being with the Ministry for sometime. One of it has been the issues of reclamation; we had a number of mining pond around which have turned to be hazardous to the people because they are open and if some funds are made available to the state, we can help to cover it up and put the land to use for agriculture.
“Another issue that needs urgent attention is the fact we as a State, we should participate in the process of mining exploration and exploitation. We have started the process of setting up the Plateau Mineral Develompent Company and we need a license for the company.
“We have submitted a document for the process to the Ministry and we will be happy if the permission is granted in good time. Plateau is supposed to be a home of Mining because mining started here, from mining we moved to oil and now we are back to mining and solid minerals and we can lay claim to the fact that Plateau is a home of minerals.”
The Minister in his response said that the Ministry does not disburse funds, saying that is the responsibility of revenue mobilisation and that any state that explores mining and pays due royalty to Federal Government and has not receive 13 percent derivation should consult the revenue mobilisation.
“As a Ministry, we don’t disburse funds and for instance any state that contributes N500 milion to Federal Government from mining and receive less say N100 million should contact the revenue mobilization for reconciliation of figures,” he said.
Dr Ogah said that in the next few months, no foreigner would be allowed to explore mining at the artisanal level, saying mining is gradually becoming the main source of revenue for the country.