Empowering Miners and Mining Rennaissance in Nigeria

State Control as an Alternative

Your State Should Control Your Local Resources
Every state is blessed with immense mineral and other resources! Every state has enough to launch into prosperity. Japan and some of so-called Asian tigers hardly started with potentials that most states in Nigeria have. Over the years, systemic deceptions and blights - ranging from the euphoria of 1980s oil glut to ethnic rivalries, inefficient military governments, economic mismanagement, deliberate misinformation and ignorance - have prevented Nigerians from optimally exploiting all that they are blessed with.

Every state should wholly control – or partially over a set period of time – its own resources while paying taxes to the federal government. Derivation principle as applied is a veneer under which the federal government perpetrates the fleecing of Nigeria: it is one of lifelines for the Nigeria unitary styled system of government founded upon corruption and injustice. It also helps to sustain an overbearing and uncontrollable bureaucracy that has hindered progress while also being used as a choice weapon of humiliation and cheating against minorities in Nigeria – especially peoples of the Niger Delta region. Resource control, on the other hand, is the magic wand in contemporary economics for empowering and prospering an entire cross section of the socio-economy while promoting individual and property rights expected in a true federalism.

The National Assembly should institutionalize resource control as a substitute for the unwholesome application of derivation principle through sensible legislations of relevant laws and abrogation of existing retrogressive ones. Resource control should not only be synonymous with the Niger-Delta region clamor for justice and equity, but a consensus agitation that ultimately empowers and prospers every Nigerian. For example, there are commercial quantities of Bitumen and Feldspar Ondo and Ekiti States, respectively – see Table 2 below. Under present system, the federal government has hardly exploited both resources and, therefore, 13% derivation principle hardly applies for consistent and meaningful revenue generation.

Why should Ondo State (population – 2,195,069) 4, with about 42 billion metric tons of Bitumen (twice Nigeria crude oil reserves and with potential capacity to provide over one million jobs) not at least have 15% resource control and set out to explore rather than wait endlessly for the federal government that notoriously mismanages every venture it touches? With that state’s abounding intellectual capital and shrewd managers, how can it not become a model within few years of taking charge? Replace Ondo or Ekiti state with Benue, Bauchi, or any state of the federation, together with its abounding resources, the truth still remains.

Now, we see Ondo, Benue, Bauchi, Enugu and Ekiti indigenes and politicians, having not fully appreciated their endowed wealth – see Tables 1 and 2, being misguided by the federal government and consumed in idiosyncrasies of ethnic politics, cut their noses in order to spite their faces in rising to endorse an unfair derivation principle over resource control laws because they identify resource control mostly with Niger Delta oil politics. We also see Niger Delta politicians and leaders foreclosing the better alternative by capitulating to the faulty 13% derivation principle as if that better alternative is rocket science.

When crude oil reserves would have been depleted (they will be depleted someday) and the Niger Delta ecology devastated will not other Nigerians retired to their states and regions to force resource control so that they and only they can benefit from endowed minerals? Will not the majorities’ benefiting and ethnically dominated hierarchy in today’s oil industry then pressure for resource control to further frustrate, cheat and anger the Niger Delta people?

Not all states have each of listed minerals in commercial quantities. Those states, having obtained control over their minerals, may form joint mining or exploration ventures with others for mutual benefits. For purposes of encouraging research, development and mining of regional resources, Regional Resource Development Commissions – fashioned after the NDDC but with focus on R&D – may be set up in each of Nigeria geo-political zones. Below is a table that profiles key mineral resources in Nigeria:

Solid Mineral Est. Quantity(Metric Tonnes) Utilisation % State Price Indicator (Average(USD)
Talc 40 Million Niger, Osun, Ogun, Kogi, Kaduna
Gypsum 1 Billion+ Nigeria
Iron Ore 3 Billion+ Enugu, Kogi, Niger, FCT
Lead/ Zinc 10 Million+ East Central Nigeria
Barite 8 Million+ Bauchi, Taraba
Bentonite 0.7 Billion Nigeria
Bitumen 42Billion Ondo
Coal 3 Billion East Central Nigeria
Rock Salt 1.5 Million Salt Springs: Plateau, Ebonyi
Rock Salt: Benue
Gemstones: Sapphire, Ruby, Aqua, Emerald, Topaz, Amethyst, Zircon, Feldspar, Tourmaline, Garnet Plateau, Bauchi, Kaduna
Kaolin 3 Billion Nigeria

No available or incomplete data due to illegal mining activities.

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