Mr Abiodun Oni, governor Makinde’s Special Adviser on Solid Minerals Development has reaffirmed Oyo State government readiness to made use of state solid minerals resources as a major boost for its Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
The state Special Adviser on Solid Minerals Development, Mr Abiodun made the revelation on behalf of Oyo State government during is presentation at the just-concluded fourth edition of the Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja
Makinde S.A said that the state government would rely on solid minerals to finance the social interventions and welfare programmes of Governor Seyi Makinde.
Oni, in his presentation entitled: “Oyo State to the World: Bridging the gap between potential and investments,” held at the NAF conference centre, Abuja, stated that Oyo State had billions in its ground which were yet to be explored and exploited.
He maintained that the Makinde administration was striving to put solid mineral development on the map because the government needed funds to drive the many social intervention projects being embarked upon by Makinde.
According to Oni, the state government is targeting solid mineral development because it remains one of the quick wins for it to boost its internal revenue.
He added that Governor Makinde was set to put money into the sector towards data gathering, digitisation, availability and accessibility, which, he said, would make it easy to attract investors to the state.
” A major part of our budget is all about data. We are committed to that in Oyo State. I told the governor we can’t move forward if we don’t have data. We cannot brag about anything; we can’t tell anybody what we have in the ground is bankable. So, the first thing is that we are targeting in this administration is to gather the appropriate data,” he said.
Speaking with journalists after the presentation, Oni added that the sooner the state began to explore the resources in its ground, the better for the state.
“I think it is essential for people to know that, like I said, Oyo State has billions in the ground that are not explored and exploited. So the sooner the better for us. I met quite a number of people who are from Oyo State but they are mining in Jos, Zamfara and other places and they are excited,” he said.
“So, we will see what we can get back home in a short while. I think it brings value to what we have in the state and it will bring people to come and invest and that is ultimately what we are looking for. We have the drive and we have motivation and I know that the governor we have is going to put money where his mouth is.
Earlier, while declaring the event open, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, said: “The documented stock of minerals that could be found in Nigeria is sufficient to kick-start a boom in the mining industry in Nigeria, with the right investments and the right atmosphere.
“To address this, we intend to partner with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen the reforms to foster a conducive ecosystem for private sector investment,” he said.