The Senate took the motion on ‘Development of Solid Minerals Sector as a Panacea to the Bankruptcy of states of the Federation and creation of Jobs in Nigeria’. Senators discussed generally on the motion and the illegal exploitation of our natural resources by foreigners. They decried the evident laxity by the Federal Government in the development of these solid minerals and observed it is one of the most profitable ways of diversifying our economy from Oil revenues. Some advocated for a total overhaul of our laws to enable states exploit their own natural resources to create employments and other infrastructures and remit some percentage to the federal Government.
The Presiding Deputy Senate President in his concluding remarks stated that, in the development of these solid minerals, there must be strict adherence to Environmental Impact Assesments and other measures put in place for the protection of our environment; to ensure a non-repeat of the Niger Delta story. He also advocated for a true federalist structure in which the states can exploit their natural resources and contribute to the centre, instead of the obtainable reverse structure we have now- of the Centre contributing to support the states. He asked that the relevant laws be carefully looked at.
The Senate accordingly resolved to mandate the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to embark on a holistic assessment of solid minerals in Nigeria.
Other items on the Order Paper were adjourned to another legislative date.
Office of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki