By: Ben Ukeji & Sunday Shekwonya
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Olusade Adesola, has explained the philosophy underlining the establishment of the Department of Solid Minerals and Allied Matters in the FCT.
Adesola said the creation of the department is to ensure that all Mining activities in the FCT are properly coordinated for improved Internally Generated Revenue ( IGR), and boost the socio-economic activities in the Territory.
The Permanent Secretary, who disclosed this while receiving a delegation from the National Steel Council of Nigeria, led by the Executive Secretary, Amb. Abdulkadir Musafari, said there are a lot of illegal mining activities that are going on in the FCT.
He, therefore, charged the leadership of the newly created Department of Solid Minerals and Allied Matters which is a common service department, to come up with policies that would end illegal mining and enhance the development of the sector.
He said the FCT has a lot of infrastructural projects to undertake for the well-being of the residents, but constrained by inadequate funding which underscores the need to widen its revenue base by onboarding other sectors, such as mining to complement the allocation from the federal government.
Adesola commended the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, for approving the creation of the department.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Steel Council, Amb. Abdulkadir Musafari said they were in the FCT to solicit partnership and support of the administration to strengthen its operation.
Musafari said that the responsibility of the Council is to regulate the Steel sub-sector of the Nigerian Economy to ensure that it conforms with the Acts that established it in 1979.
He stated that Abuja is a developing city, and there are a lot of constructions that are going on in the Territory, which falls under the responsibility of the Council to ensure that Steels that are used by the construction companies are strong enough to support buildings and other structures.
According to him, Ajaokuta which was created at the same time as the FCT is expected to serve as an economic zone for the country but regretted that not much has been achieved in the development of the Steel sector.