Saturday, February 24, 2024

It’s Unconstitutional for States to Regulate Mining- Federal Govt.

The Federal Government through the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Oladele Alake, has said that states government have no power to regulate mining activities.

He also said the ban by states on mining was illegal and not in line with the constitution.

The minister said this during a pre-event press conference in Abuja for the 8th edition of the annual Nigerian Mining Week 2023  from Monday to Wednesday.

He said, “The states’ ban on mining activities across the country is a point that is really sore. And it’s a constitutional matter. I want to use this opportunity to get to the entire Nigerian public that no state and I repeat, no state has the authority to interfere in mining operations, no state has the authority, and it is not it’s a no-brainer. It’s a constitutional matter.

“Mining belongs exclusively in the purview of the Federal Government, according to the Constitution. It is in the exclusive legislative list. It is not in the residual. It is not in the concurrent; it’s in the exclusive legislative list. Every item on the exclusive legislative list belongs to the Federal Government. There is no doubt about that. All items on the residual list belong to the states and all items in a concurrent section belong to both, but mining, like oil, and solid minerals belongs in the exclusive legislative, therefore, it is the Federal Government that has the authority; legal authorities as supported by the constitution to make laws regulations and operationalization of the solid minerals resources of Nigeria.”

The minister added that if states need to engage in mining activities, they should go through the right process and apply for a licence.

He said, “Mind you we are not against any state that wants to engage a mining operation as long as it follows the due process. If any state wants to engage in mining, it can form its own special purpose vehicle, apply for a mining licence from the office of the minister for solid minerals and go through the due process, and be so licensed if it meets all the criteria.

“But for a state to wake up and say it is regulating mining activities is like a state waking up to ban oil exploration. It is downright illegal.”

However, he said that the Federal Government did not intend to confront states but to engage and educate them on what is the right thing to do.

He added that he had met with the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and some state governors in addressing the issue.

Recently states including; Kebbi, Zamfara, Taraba, Osun placed banned on mining.

Kebbi State Government has explained the reasons behind the recent ban placed on illegal mining activities in the state.

The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Ahmed Idris, while speaking with news correspondent on the telephone said the state government banned it in order to regulate the activities.

He said, “We ban the activities temporarily so as to regulate it. We want to have accurate data on what is happening there.

“We also believe it will help the government in improving its revenue as more people will pay their tax through it.”

He, however, explained that the ban was for a temporary period of time.

Kebbi State Government Announces Ban On All Mining Activities

Kebbi State To Revive Mining Activities

 Zamfara state government said it banned illegal mining because of the insecurity challenges affecting the state.

The Commissioner of Information Munnir Haidara who spoke through the Director of Information of the ministry said, the state government was quite aware that it was not within its powers to ban mining activities.

Haidara stated that the state government temporarily banned mining activities until the security situation improved.

LN247 earlier reported in September that the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, gave all miners engaged in the illegal extraction of mineral resources in the country an ultimatum of 30 days to join notable mining cooperatives or face the full wrath of the law.

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