NIGERIA’S 36 states can now individually explore and exploit mineral deposits in their domains, provided they go about the exercise in manners that will not interfere with locations already given to other stakeholders, Mines and Steel Development minister, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has disclosed.
Fayemi, while acknowledging that the Federal Government enjoys exclusive rights to mine minerals across the country, noted that the constitution encourages states to either set up their own investment corporations or partner private investors to exploit minerals in their domains.
He disclosed this in Abuja, while playing host to the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo, who led a team from the state to make some requests before the Federal Government in respect of its minerals resources.
The commissioner identified the minerals in Lagos to include: limestone, silica, clay and a few other resources which abound in large commercial quantities in the country’s largest industrial hub.
According to him, “We estimate that we have limestone in the region of 12 million metric tonnes around the Epe area. We also estimate that we have silica sand of up to 200 billion cubic metric tonnes around the Ibeju-Lekki area. And the third one, which is clay, is about 180 billion cubic metric tonnes around the Lagos East.
“We’ve been carrying out various geological surveys, both aerial and on the ground, and we believe that data is key. So, when you are in a position to make that decision as to gathering data with respect to where solid minerals can be identified, we are assuring you that in Lagos, we will put our resources behind your efforts.”