Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has cited Nigeria’s failure to fully exploit its abundant solid mineral resources as one of the main reasons for escalating violent crimes and political agitations in the country.
According to his spokesperson, Abdu Labaran, in an issued statement, Masari stated this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, in Abuja, on Monday.
The governor also said the agitation for resource control and restructuring would dry up when other resources, such as solid minerals, are fully exploited and harnessed.
Governor Masari said the youth have turned to criminality because the country failed to develop other sectors of the economy that would have kept them gainfully engaged.
He said every State in Nigeria is endowed with one mineral resource or the other, which, if fully harnessed, would engage the youth and minimise criminal activities.
“Agitation for resource development and restructuring will all go away with the development of the various mineral resources each State is endowed with”, the governor also said.
He solicited the cooperation of the Mines and Steel Development Ministry with the Katsina State government in harnessing the State’s huge deposit of solid minerals.
In his remarks, the Minister, Adegbite, said mineral resources are vested in the federal government to exploit on behalf of the Nigerian people, adding that it is wrong of any State to claim ownership of mineral resources in their territories.
Mr. Adegbite also cautioned State governments against enacting laws on the mining of mineral resources in addition to the ones passed by the Federal Government.
He said there must be unified legislation across the board – from the federal to the local government levels.
The minister also charged State governors to provide the enabling environment for investors to do business in their States, even as he implored investors to always carry the host community along in whatever business they conduct.