The Oasis Reporters
March 26, 2018
By Moses Gbande
Plateau state government says it has put in place partnership measures with stakeholders towards harnessing the opportunities opened in making agriculture and solid minerals as leading economic base for Nigeria.
Plateau State Commissioner for Minerals Development, Hon. Ezekiel Daju told journalists in an interview on Monday that the ministry will engage stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue towards ensuring that the untapped minerals that are found in the state are better utilized within the ambit of the law.
According to him, “I may have a short time to do this, but during my stay as the commissioner, I will ensure that, solid minerals which is on the exclusive list of government will be given its rightful attention.
” We are already having problems with some miners in the state, we don’t want to call them illegal miners, but we want all Artisanal miners to form cooperative groups so that government can identify them and sit with them to highlight what we can do for the state”.
He decried the lack of database and statistics of those doing business in the state as impediment to the execution of programmes of government, stressing that as soon as government completed an interface with community leaders and miners, they would be able to fashion out ways of reclaiming lands that have been devastated due to mining activities.
“We want to get ourselves together so that we could get them key into policy of governments and get the right thing done for the development of the state”.
He said it will be no business as usual for business operators in the state that do not pay tax to the state, ” those whose stock in trade is to come, get land at will, exploit citizens without doing anything for the development of the state will soon be shown the way out”.
He promised to get his staff from top down to the bottom involved in the running of the ministry for them to be able to understand the focus of the government.
It is on record that Plateau state is rich in Iron ore, magnetite, tin, columbite, lead, zinc, tantalite etc, and over the years Tin mining has been one of the reasons behind the rapid urban growth and
expansion of Jos City.
Tin mining activities have opened up areas
and have brought in new establishments
like settlements, tarred roads and industrial activities which has created employment opportunities
in the state.