By Kingsley Chijioke
Committee on Devolution of Power has recommended that mines and minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas be retained in the Exclusive Legislative list as specified in the country’s 1999 constitution.
Presenting the reports and recommendations of the committee to the plenary yesterday, former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah and the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Coomassie that co-chairmen the committee, said the decision arose from the overriding need to bring all the other mineral resources of the country, hitherto underdeveloped into mainstream development.
It is also part of the committee’s plan to activate National Strategic Plan for exploitation of all minerals so as to boost their contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To benefit respect states where such mining activities take place, the committee recommended that the states shall be involved in matters relating thereto.
They also provided that the government of the federation shall create a special fund to develop Mines and minerals in states where such resources are underdeveloped noting that:
“It also was of the view that this item (as amended) would enable the federal government set up or create a special fund that would ensure the realisation of the above mentioned goal through a tripartite relationship between the federal government, states and investors.
“This, in its view is also meant to diversify the economy of the country rapidly and give those states involved, a sense of belonging in the Nigerian nation.”