Home Economy Allow state develop their resource, pay royalty to centre—Wike

Allow state develop their resource, pay royalty to centre—Wike

by Business News Report

River state Governor Nyesom Wike has urged the federal government to allow states in the federation to own and develop natural resources in their domain and pay tax to the federal government. Wike said it has become important because federal government which controls the country’s rich mineral endowment has failed to translate the mineral wealth of the nation into economic development. Wike, said “you know the truth. The federal government will not accept to collaborate with Rivers State because of politics. When politics sets in you are likely not to achieve your target in the process. I know you have good intentions, but when you go back now and report back that Rivers State has accepted the idea may not see the light of day.

“The federal government is carrying so much load that they are not supposed to carry. Allow states to develop these minerals and pay royalty to the federal government. That is the way it is supposed to be.” Wike said that the problem of the country was over dependence on oil, adding that when minerals are harnessed the nation would experience rapid development. He further said “the problem of Nigeria is over dependence on oil, when we are supposed to give attention to other resources. Our attention on oil has reduced the value for other resources. There is need for the synergy.”

Meanwhile the Federal government has moved to synergise with Rivers State Government on exploration of the solid mineral potentials in the state. The Minister of Mines and Steal Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, spoke on behalf of the federal government in Government House, Port Harcourt, during a courtesy call on the governor on his one day visit to engage stakeholders in the state on the need for partnership.

Ogah said that mineral resources stand as the future of the nation, but expressed regrets that states were not yet working with the federal government to drive development in solid Minerals. He said “We found out that the relationship between the federal government and the state is not cordial in this area, so we decided to see how we can work together to harness the potential of this nation in minerals. We have 44 minerals. Minerals stand as the future of this country. So there is need for the state and federal government to work together. In Rivers State we have the Silicone sand, Dredging of sand going on, we have saltwater. These will help for the development of the nation.”

Ogah said that if federal government takes over the exploration of solid minerals that the states were entitled to the monthly 13% derivation from the resources. He said “in Rivers State there are so many sand dredging. It has environmental issues too. We need to monitor the activities of dredgers so that it does not affect human lives. The issues of 13% derivation is on minerals too. Even dredging if properly done 13% is ought to be paid. We want give attention to mineral resources and reduce over dependence on oil.”

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