34 minerals deposit: MIREMCO blames illegal miners for Benue’s low earning.

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By Ijeoma Obioma in Makurdi.

(C) ResearchGate.
The Chairman of Minerals Resources and Environmental Management Committee, (MIREMCO) in Benue State, Barr. Fidelis Mnyim, has blamed illegal mining activities on the low earning accruing to the state as 13 percent derivatives from its huge mineral deposits.

Mnyim made the observation during a press conference in Makurdi, where he expressed worry that Benue with 34 minerals deposit out of a total of 44 in the country ought to earn more than the paltry 13 percent.

He attributed the low earning to exploitative activities of illegal miners, explaining further that the state only gets about N30 million from the 13 percent derivatives.

“Benue has no excuse to get such amount. But there is a problem, the presence of illegal miners in the State, the problem of improper report of mining activities in the state that has denied the State royalty and the 13 percent derivatives.

“It is quite unfortunate that our 13 percent derivative is very very low. There are several miners who are inactive in the State. Most persons will just go and get licences and not do anything. There are other persons who are operating without licences and there are some with licences but have failed to operate with certain requirements for instance payment of surface rent, execution of community development agreement which include maintenance of roads, provision of water and several other incentives,” he said.

Mnyim who is also the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, disclosed that the Committee was created under the mineral and mining act 2009 particularly section 19, adding that Venue has the opportunity to benefit from the act bearing in mind that the issue of solid minerals is in the exclusive list and the state governments benefit from section of the act.

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