Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has stated that states should be allowed to develop and operate their mineral resources and pay royalty to the federal government.
According to Wike, such a plan is pertinent because the federal government has failed to translate the mineral resources at its disposal into widespread economic development.
This statement was made by the state governor when Uchechukwu Ogah, minister of state for mines and steel development, paid a courtesy visit to the government house.
Kelvin Ebiri, Wike’s special assistant on media, said the governor maintained that in order for the country to benefit from its vast mineral endowment, the federal government should concentrate on the formulation of policies that will improve the mining sector.
“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’s supposed to be,” Wike said.
“It is very important for people to know that part of the problem in this country is that everybody is depending on oil when we are also supposed to look at other minerals. Minerals play a great role in terms of raising revenue for any country. So, our overemphasis on oil has reduced our impact on other minerals.”
Wike said if the federal government fully harnesses the gold deposit in Zamfara as well as others in states across the nation, the country will make a lot of revenue that can accelerate development.