President Muhammadu Buhari must rescue the solid minerals sector from the cabal that has held it hostage for nearly two decades if the new administration is to unleash that industry’s huge potentials.
The president of the Progressive Miners’ Empowerment Association, Mr Sunny Ekozin, made the call at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, “One of the major challenges of the sector has been that a cabal has taken that industry hostage and has disallowed it to develop enough to make the appropriate contributions to the economy of the nation.”
He said that contrary to the claims by some stakeholders in the industry, funding was not the problem of the sector as, according to him, several hundreds of billions of naira had been released by both the federal government and development partners. He noted that only about N1.7 billion had been realised by the federal government in terms of royalties over more than 20 years.
Ekozin said that if President Buhari paid personal attention to mining, the new administration could realise N1 trillion annually as revenue from the sector. He said that not only can the nation earn huge revenue from the sector, it would also provide as much as two million jobs in the next four years within which many of the youths in the country would be gainfully employed.
“We have prepared a module which shows clearly that the solid mineral sector alone can create 2 million jobs and N1 trillion can be earned. This is the sector that President Buhari should focus on as it has been identified as an agent of wealth and change.
“This cabal has been responsible for deceiving successive governments in the past and has pocketed various funds provided by the federal government and development partners, including the World bank. Rather than developing the sector, those involved have only enriched themselves at the detriment of the miners and the solid minerals sector,” he said.
Source : Leadership