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    Okey Muogbo

    The National President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Hon Alabi Kolade David has said that development of Nigeria’s solid minerals must be pursued vigorously to generate adequate resources to satisfy the huge economic needs of the country. In his virtual contribution on the critical role of the local governments in the realization of economic diversification agenda through the Development of minerals and metals holding in Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Hon Alabi observed that Nigeria is richly blessed with numerous solid mineral deposits in commercial quantity untapped which are all available in all the local governments and Councils in Nigeria. Realizing this, he said, needs a bottom-up approach instead of top down as currently the case. In his paper titled, “Responsible Mining as a Catalyst Towards Socio-Economic Development of Local Communities”, Hon. Alabi called for proper legislation and Political will on the part of the governments so as to promote speedy investment, provide enabling environment and guarantee security to attract both Local and International investors. It is his view also that vital information on minerals through Geo-science data should have the buy-in of all. He further noted that large deposits of solid minerals across the country which is the prescient of the Councils are such that will, if well harnessed, truly assist in taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years by way of the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy on job creation and economic stability. To sustain the above postulations, he canvassed for the integration of the informal artisanal miners to embrace technology which according to him will go a long way to tackling all operational challenges. The National President used the medium to also call for what he tagged “One Local Government, One mineral prospect” which if developed will jumpstart the economy. It is also his view that the issues of ecological damage, revenue losses, investing the revenue accruals through backward integration, equipment procurement, Ease of Doing Business (EOD) as well as loyalty to the Local Governments were vital for development. Alabi is of the opinion that while Taxes should go to the Federal Governments, the state and local governments should be allowed to have good financial returns through a good revenue sharing formula as mining is Community-based. He further stated that Government oversight will help to encourage the overall operation. He thanked the Hon Minister Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite and his State counterpart, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah for organizing the event which he described as successful.