Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has decried the country’s dependence on oil, saying it is one of the reasons for the financial straits being experienced right now.
Wike therefore, called for resource control by the federating units as panacea for the current problem.
He stressed that federating units in Nigeria should be allowed to develop and operate their respective minerals and pay royalty to the Federal Government.
Wike made this assertion when the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah, paid him a visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor, in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, maintained that in order for the country to benefit from its vast endowment, the Federal Government should concentrate on formulation of policies that would facilitate an improvement in the governance of the mining sector to improve social welfare of the citizens.
“The Federal Government is carrying so much load that it is not supposed to carry. Allow states to develop these minerals and pay royalty to the Federal Government. That is the way it’s supposed to be.
“It is very important for people to know that part of the problem in this country is that everybody is depending on oil, when we are also supposed to look at other minerals. Minerals play a great role in terms of raising revenue for any country. So, our overemphasis on oil has reduced our impact on other minerals,” Wike stated.
He noted that if the country fully harness the gold deposit in Zamfara as well as other minerals in other states of the federation, the country would make a lot of revenue from these minerals that can accelerate her development.
Wike also lamented that despite the possibility of the Ajaokuta Steel Company project generating huge revenues for the country and creating not less than 10,000 jobs, the Federal Government for political reasons, had failed to actualise the country’s aspiration to become a major player in the global steel industry.