Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, says the Federal Government is setting in place various measures to eradicate multiple taxation for miners.
Adegbite said the ministry was engaging with the three tiers of government to resolve this issue.
He said that informed the recent webinars and advocacy engagements by the ministry with all stakeholders in the country involved in the mining industry.
He said that though the constitution vested control of mineral resources in Nigeria in the Federal Government, the fund goes into the Federation Account, of which everybody participates.
He added that all the 774 local governments got money from that account but if they cut corners by disturbing the miners with unnecessary local taxes they get discouraged.
“So, its double jeopardy when you go and do all these illegal taxes, or you go and disturb the miners, when you will benefit from what is derived in your place, you get a 13 per cent derivation.
“You also get your share of the federal accounts as of course laid down statutorily. So, it is a continuous process, we educate everybody and I think we are getting good results.”
The minister said there was a Mineral Resource Committee (MIRENCO) in every state and the chairman was nominated by the governor of that state, so that he would be in the know about everything going on about mining in that state.
He said that the chairman of that committee was to oversee all the activities between the miners, the community, the state government and the Federal Government.
“So, on that committee, the Federal Government has representatives, the local government has representatives, the governor chooses the chairman and then Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders bring in representatives as well.
“So, through this committee, everybody can participate, and make sure that we work in harmony, bake a bigger pie so everybody can share.
“So, its continuous advocacy, we let them know what we are doing and of course they can also participate, where they do not understand or where the governor has any problem he can always ask the chairman.”
On the issue of rock blasting, he said cities had expanded to meet quarries.
According to him, quarrying is a necessity, because stones are needed to make concrete when building roads and houses.
He, however, said that before a quarry license was given the ministry ensures that the quarry was located in a safe area.
“What has been happening is the expansions of the city, like in the Federal Capital Territory, for instance, there were some licences that have been given to quarry.
“Some licenses will last 10, 15, 20 years, the city has now grown for instance there is a particular quarry that people are complaining about.
“An investor went to build an estate; in fact, they were sharing a border with the quarry and there is no way you will not have problems.
“So, we have had to resolve that, the quarry has to move, but actually before approval was given for that there should have been consideration, the city is growing to meet these quarries.
“If we are giving any fresh license, we call it quarry lease, we actually ensure that it is in such a safe location, you know, within certain radius, no residential or office accommodation.”