The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on the Federal Government to allow increased participation by States in the solid mineral sector, especially in exploration, the collection of royalties, fees, fines and taxes accruable from solid minerals.
This he said would enable States to stimulate more growth, increase their Internally Generated Revenue and create critical jobs for youths.
Governor Ahmed who made the call while declaring open the 52nd Annual International conference and exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society in Ilorin advocated partnership between the Federal Government and States for a survey of the quality and quantity of solid minerals in the country in order to build a geosciences database.
The Governor acknowledged that the state is blessed with mineral resources which he said would be exploited to form the base for industrial development in the State.
He said plans were ongoing to organise informal miners in the sector into cooperatives and give access to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) loans to encourage small business owners in solid mineral and mining sector.
Governor Ahmed urged the Society to come up with recommendations on how the Federal and State Government can reposition the Solid Mineral Sector towards profitability and suitability.
VON Correspondent reports that the event was attended by the Tanzanian Ambassador to Nigeria, representatives of the Ministers of Science and Technology and Water Resources, members of the State Executive Council and the first Professor of Geology in Africa, Professor Muhammad Jamiu Oyawoye as well as members of the academic and business communities.