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The Government of Oyo State is setting its eyes on the solid mineral sector as a major boost for its Internally Generated Revenue, the Special Adviser on Solid Minerals Development, Abiodun Ini, has said.
Oni, in a presentatiion at the just concluded Fourth Edition of the Nigeria Mining Week, said the State Government would heavily rely of solid minerals to finance the social interventions and welfare programmes of Governor Seyi Makinde.
Oni, in his presentation, themed: “Oyo State to the World: Bridging the gap between potentials and investments,” held at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, stated that Oyo State had billions in its grounds which were yet to be explored and exploited.
He maintained that the Governor Makinde administration was striving hard to put solid mineral development on the map because the government needed funds to drive the many social intervention projects being embarked upon by the state governor.
According to Oni, the Oyo State Government was targeting solid mineral development because it remained one of the quick wins for it to boost its internal revenue, adding that Governor Makinde was set to put money into the sector towards data gathering, digitization, availability and accessibility, which he said would make it easy to attract investors to the state.
He said: “We are striving a whole lot to make sure that mineral development is put on the map and where we can generate revenues. You would have noticed that the governor of Oyo State is into lots of social intervention projects and programmes, so we need money. So, we are thinking IGR, IGR, IGR. There is nowhere else to go to.
“One of the quick wins for us is mineral development and what I will like to focus on, which I have been advising our government on is to focus on the ASMs. It is a quick win and a low-hanging fruit if we are able to develop and partner with this arm of the sector. In Oyo State, the ASMs actually have actually about 80 per cent of the mining community.
“A major part of our budget is all about data, we all know and we have all spoken about data. We are committed to that in Oyo State. I told my governor that first things first, 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.”
Speaking with journalists after the presentation, Oni added that the sooner Oyo State began to explore the resources in its grounds the better for the state, saying: “I think it is essential for people to know that, like I said, Oyo State has billions in the grounds that are not explored and exploited. So, the sooner the better for us. I met quite a number of guys who are from Oyo State but they are mining in Jos, Zamfara and other places and they are excited.
“So, we will see what we can get back home in a short while. I think it brings value to what we have in Oyo 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. Like you have heard from the discussions, if you don’t put money in data gathering, it is a non-starter but that, first, is what I know we are going to do and the moment we start putting money in data gathering, data digitization, data availability and accessibility, it makes it easier to sell what we have in the grounds to investors.”
At the event, the Oyo State had an exhibition stand to showcase some of the mineral resources scattered across the state, including tin and tantalite, gemstones.
Earlier, while declaring the event open, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, 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.”
The event brought together key players, policy makers and investors in the mining industry as well as finance experts from about 20 countries and the governors of Kebbi and Nasarawa States.

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Business

Banks owe telcos N17bn for USSD access –NCC

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission , Prof. Umar Danbatta , says commercial banks in the country owe telecommunication over N 17 bn for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data access .
This debt , according to him , accumulated following the regulator ’s suspension of its determination on USSD pricing in 2019 .
Danbatta spoke at ATCON ’s virtual forum , themed ‘ Meeting the interests of government , consumers and telecoms companies in the era of Covid- 19 and post COVID – 19 pandemic for digital economy development’ on Thursday .
In order to protect the interests of consumers and support a robust telecommunications sector, Danbatta announced that it had revised the determination on the USSD .
The EVC noted that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy , Dr Isa Pantami , had already been briefed on the development with a view to ensuring a quick settlement of the debt .
Explaining the commission ’s efforts at resolving consumer -related issues , he noted that when the commission introduced the Do -Not -Disturb code in 2015 , less than 500 , 000 people activated the code .
There are now 22 ,722 , 366 lines on the DND , according to him.
Danbatta stated that 98 per cent of the total service -related complaints received from telecoms consumers within a 15 -month period, spanning January 2019 to April 2020 , had been successfully resolved by the commission .
Speaking on quality of service , Danbatta said, “ The commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on quality of service and short codes, and is currently monitoring 2 G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4 G are being prepared .”
Meanwhile, the minister , Pantami , said that an executive order aimed at protecting telecommunications infrastructure across the country would soon be ready .
He explained that the executive order for protecting telecommunications infrastructure across the country which had been reviewed by the relevant authorities was awaiting presidential assent.
He said that his administration was committed to the protection of the right of consumers, most especially telecom consumers who were struggling at the hands of mobile network operators in the country .
Pantami said his ministry was harmonising the right of way charges based on agreement reached with the governor ’s forum .
He called on MNOs not to compromise on the agreement by paying exorbitant RoW charges to state governments , adding that they should report illegal taxes to the ministry for appropriate resolution .

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Osun state empowers 30 cocoa farmers with N5m loan

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About 30 cocoa farmers on Wednesday benefited from the loan facilities provided by Osun State Government as a means of supporting farmers and promote agriculture in the State.
The loan, according to the government, was aimed at boosting cocoa production and increase the farmers’ yields for this year’s growing and harvesting season.
A statement issued by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s Spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, stated that the General Manager, Osun Micro-Credit Agency, Mr. Dayo Babaranti, said similar gesture had recently been extended to cassava and tomatoes farmers in the State.

He said the agency was determined to support the economy of the State as it is ready to revive micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
“We are here to distribute N5millon loan to 30 individual cocoa farmers in the four major cocoa growing councils in the State, namely Ilesa-West, Ilesa-East, Atakunmosa-West and Atakumosa-East respectively.
“This support is given to farmers for them to purchase chemicals and other things they need to spray and prevent cocoa from infections that usually to reduce their productions ahead of this year’s growing season.

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“So, with this little support, our farmers can have access to some of the farm inputs to support their activities and increase their production.
“I urge the beneficiaries not to divert the funds but apply it on what it was meant for which is to support their farming activities,” he said.
Responding on behalf of others, the Chairman, Agbewumi Cocoa Group, Mr. Ajibade Moshood, commended the commitment of the state government to revamp agriculture.
Moshood, who assured of the timely repayment of the loan, said, “We shall use the fund for the purpose it was meant for.”

READ ALSO  Banks owe telcos N17bn for USSD access –NCC

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