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The Governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru has made a case for more stakes for states in mineral resource mining, which proceeds he said was going to the federal government to the detriment of the resource producing states.
For instance, he claimed that despite having abundant salt reserves, the state of Ebonyi little benefited from them because it was included on the exclusive legislative list.
Nwifuru, therefore, called for a review of the curriculum of universities and other higher institutions of learning to offer courses capable of ‘putting food on the tables of graduates’ and ensure self-reliance.
Speaking during an interview with Arise News Channel which was monitored by The Eastern Updates, he said he had no knowledge of how much the federal government was making from the salt deposits in the state, because it was the exclusive preserve of federal authorities.
His words: ‘Ebonyi is the salt of the nation and you ask us how much we are making. It is under the federal government and it is only the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals that can tell us how much they are making from the salt they are getting in Ebonyi.
‘It is not in the concurrent legislative list. It’s in the exclusive list. So, I cannot get up and say this is exactly how much we are making because I am not the one managing it.
‘As a governor, I know what is going on but I don’t have the details, I don’t issue certificates. They are not answerable to me, the only people they are answerable to is the federal ministry of solid minerals. Even royalties are being paid to federal ministry.
“What the state gets is from the community development. If you look at the Mining Act of of 2007 very well, you will find out that the state is not recognised,’ he said.
The Ebonyi governor stated that, ‘What is recognised in the act is the community and the CDA agreement is what the community relies on to get what they want and it specified what community should request.’
Nwifuru, therefore, called for a review of Mining Act 2007, saying, “That is even what we are agitating for. That states should be given more opportunity to discuss the mineral act.”