Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has disclosed that the state would establish a Ministry of Mining to fast-track the development of mining activities in the state, explaining that the state was yet to take full advantage of the investment potentials in the mining sector due to lack of a structure to coordinate its activities.
The governor announced this while reacting to elucidations made by Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at a two-day workshop on Solid Mineral Development organised by the state government in Benin, on Friday.
Governor Obaseki said, “Mining has been a federal affair with states having little roles to play; but we have seen the clarifications that have been made by the minister of solid minerals. It used to be a portfolio restricted to the federal government. We want to restructure mining in Edo, and in the portfolio we have created, a commissioner will oversee the ministry of Mining.”
He continued that the ministry would be charged with the responsibility of gathering data, forming policies, and implementing and regulating mining activities, revealing that over 250 mining licences had been obtained in the State already.
Mining, as a business, could be more profitable, explained the governor, if it were Market-Demand-Driven and carried out by large-scale miners, not solely by small-scale artisans.
He said that the state would come up with environment standards to regulate pollution concerns associated with mining activities, and sought for the support of private investors in the mining sector to help in training skilled miners in the state.
Some of the participants commended the workshop initiative saying it would have a positive impact on mining activities in the state, and noting that investment in mining would lead to job creation, increase Internally Generated Revenue via taxation in the state.