By Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said the State will partner with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to harness and increase revenue generation from the mining sector.
He lamented that the proliferation of mining activities by artisanal miners in a haphazard manner which is usually done at odd times of the night has led to the loss of arable farmlands, lives, properties and revenue.
Lalong disclosed this on Thursday while declaring open the stakeholders’ consultative forum on challenges militating against optimum revenue generation in Plateau State mining sector, organised by the Ministry of Mineral Development, Plateau State in conjunction with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission in the Presidency, held at Government House Rayfield, Jos.
‘While we make efforts to enhance our revenue, there are some challenges that appear to be standing on our way to progress. These include the fact that mining is on the exclusive list and therefore not under the control of the State Government,’ Plateau Deputy Governor, Prof Sonni Tyoden, who represented the Governor, said.
‘Added to this is the issue of insecurity which has is a national matter that both the Federal and State Governments are doing everything to address. The non-declaration of the exact tonnage of various minerals mined and not stating the originating State clearly shortchanges us from the due credit in the 13% derivation accruable.
‘I will want to assure you of the State Government’s resolve to co-operate with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission on a partnership to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from the mining sector.’
Commissioner for Mineral Development Hon Jude Eli Dakur said addressing some of the challenges in the mining sector will create jobs and wealth for the people.
‘We realised the need to evolve an approach for stakeholder’s engagement which we also applied in the production of the State Mineral Policy, which is meant to address some of the mining sector challenges and help Plateau State to benefit maximally from mining through job creation, wealth creation and protection of investors’ investment.’
The Chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr Elias Mbam, said the forum provides stakeholders with the opportunity to dialogue on the peculiar challenges militating against optimum revenue generation vis-a-vis the corresponding 13 per cent accruing to Plateau State from the mining sector.
Mbam, represented by Alihu Abdulkadair, said the stakeholders will fashion out strategies for optimum revenue generation in Plateau mining sector.