Saturday November 1st, 2014
Saturday November 1st, 2014
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Tony Obuh’s governorship bid: A divine mission too important to ignore

  /   in Viewpoint 12:00 am   /   Comments

For a long time it has been very difficult for me to decipher the direction of the 2015 Delta State governorship election due to the plethora of governorship aspirants that have indicated interest for the seat. Every governorship camp deemed to wield so much political influence that it was hard to concede political superiority to any one aspirant.

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Ugwuanyi and support for the President

  /   in Viewpoint 3:43 pm   /   Comments

AT times of intense politics and politicking like these, what would you, if you were President Jonathan’s adviser, have the President do? Canvass popular support from all and sundry for his reelection bid, or develop a long memory and seek to avenge his alleged failure to install the leadership of the House of Representatives?

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PDP and capacity to confront incumbency

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THE power of incumbency is a pervading force in Nigeria’s political/electoral system. Its effect is most felt at the executive stratum of government where the President, governor and, at the much lower level, the local government chairman, use their big sticks to achieve their political/electoral ends.

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Are Igbos really foolish? (1)

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Dr Junaid Mohammed,a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and currently coordinates the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen. He treats other zones of Nigeria with little respect, and obviously cannot hide his hatred and disregard for Ndigbo of the South East Nigeria. In the Punch Newspaper of September

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Garland for Ochendo Abia @ 64

  /   in Viewpoint 6:43 pm   /   Comments

AGE is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. But to friends, relations, and even enemies of Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Ahamuefule Orji, it matters as he clocks 64. Gradually Governor Orji is stepping into the septuagenarian club, healthy, hearty, resolute and focused. As he ages, it is never a dull moment for a man who has spent the greater part of his life to render selfless service to humanity.

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APGA bashing in a season of defections

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IN his book, Principles and Practices of Public Administration in Nigeria, Augustus Adebayo noted that the time for general postings in the civil service was usually the “period for the outbreak of incurable diseases”, requiring that everyone serve at the headquarters and none willing to go to the rural areas.

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Chief Chike Ofodile, SAN, OFR (Onowu): A phenomenon

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Chike Ofodile

THE phenomenon in question is a father, mentor, teacher, benefactor and I dare say (friend) former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Federal Republic of Nigeria, a legal luminary par excellence and encyclopedia of knowledge. “A highly unusual fact or occurrence, a person or thing that is very successful or impressive” For over 20years now, I have had the privilege of working closely with this great institution and encyclopedia of a man who had taken many of us as his children with all sense of responsibility, legal discipline, care and concern.

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Big Brother Africa: A convergence of African culture

  /   in Viewpoint 1:22 pm   /   Comments

The latest edition of the Big Brother Africa reality show was launched Sunday, October 5. Tagged Big Brother Hotshots, the show saw DStv subscribers across Africa watching a live screening of the unveiling of this year’s housemates and their stepping into the Big Brother House in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Redefining management of government media profile

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How do you manage the affairs of a chief executive who is the target of vicious criticism, serial litigations challenging his election and is adjudged more on ethnic considerations? No Mass Communications class has such recipe.

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Jega’s ethnic agenda

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Before now, I would have staked my soul to vouch for Prof Attahiru Jega’s professional impeccability when President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2010. I wondered if the President was not committing political hara-kiri. I therefore decided to “siddon look”.

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2015: Delta North; ‘it is our turn’ mantra and the PDP

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As we approach the 2015 general elections in Delta State, a new hymn has been composed, taught and taking pride of place in gatherings in the state. It is entitled: ‘It is our turn’, the hymn whose composer is not readily known but is being sung by aspirants and the electorate in Delta North with so much gusto.

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Uduaghan: Icon of transformation

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It is not every day that governors celebrate birthdays. But it was an occasion for celebration a forth night ago when Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State marked his 60th birthday. And so, friends, relations and political associates came together to celebrate the life of a man they agreed has impacted on them in very different but positive ways.

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Voice of Jacob, hand of Esau!

  /   in Viewpoint 11:26 pm   /   Comments

The attention of members and executives of the Benin Legion has been drawn to a publication in Vanguard aimed at tarnishing the image of the University of Benin Management and the Senate. We believe the said article was authored on the dining table of a former Vice Chancellor who has been doing everything to rubbish the Prof.Osayuki Oshodin – led administration.

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AKWA IBOM 2015: The case for continuity

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October 21, Akwa Ibom State was agog as the erstwhile Secretary to the State Government, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, finally heeded what was decidedly a popular call to throw his hat in the gubernatorial ring. The crowd that thronged the Uyo Township Stadium was both mammoth and awe-inspiring by its sheer- number and passion displayed.

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NYSC Online fee and the lynch mob

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PEOPLE will instinctively kick against change. It is understandable. What would be confounding, however, is when opposition to change persists even when empirical evidence and facts have been put forward.

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30,000 polling units: JEGA’s contradictions and defiance

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In his recent contradictory statements in the Guardian newspaper ofTuesday October 23, 2014, Professor Attahiru Jega appears intent upon fomenting conflict with his new polling unit allocations, which he appears besotted with irrespective of informed advice to the contrary from the Senate, security agencies, INEC Commissioners, and the political parties’ chairmen he sought their views at a meeting he convened. This is in addition to his defiance of an on-going matter in court instituted by a political party.

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Buhari and the politics of fear mongering

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FORMER military dictator and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, is continuing his trademark politics of bitterness, blackmail and fear mongering.

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Oshiomhole’s recant leaves a sour taste

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THE All Progressives Congress, APC, right from inception, has always battled to shed the toga of a party whose interest is mainly skewed in favour of the North and Muslim interests. Until the appointment- not election- of Odigie Oyegun to the position of Chairman, all of the principal officers were mainly Muslims. So, when a

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Ode to our military leaders

  /   in Viewpoint 11:11 am   /   Comments

THE year 2014 is a symbolic for Nigeria. This year the nation marked its Centenary – 100years since the amalgamation of the Nigerian nation.

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NOI polls and a resurgent Jonathan

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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has taken quite a few knocks. That is the unalloyed truth: Boko Haram, the Chibok girls abduction, an unenviable record as the first President in Nigeria to be dubbed “clueless” and a tendency to be unbelievably patient in the face of extreme provocation by supposed friends and foes alike. None of these things have served him well in recent times.

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Kwankwaso and APC’s search for sure bait

  /   in Viewpoint 6:04 pm   /   Comments

The flagging off of political activities earlier this month by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has sparked a whirlwind of campaign activities and widened the horizon for consultation and formation of common fronts.

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Redrawing Cross River State political map: Design or accident?

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FOR me, the mantra of Change is not new. Some believe it passionately while others hate it. Some even hate me for just the thought of it. The truth is, like it or hate it, or even hate me, the idea that there is a likelihood of change in the Cross River State political environment is a given?

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Boko Haram’s deadly ceasefire

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WE woke up on Saturday October 18, 2014, to newspaper screaming headlines of a ceasefire with the Boko Haram, by the Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Bade issuing a directive to the service chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and the Inspector General of Police, to comply with the cease fire agreement on all areas of operations.
This meant that the cease fire agreement was so neatly packaged that both parties were to comply with the terms, details of which is yet to be published, except that the over 200 Chibok girls were expected to be released as part of the deal. This vacuum fuelk led speculations about the terms of the said agreement.
Some said the girls would be released on the October 21, others said the 2015 elections would be postponed as part of demand by the terrorists, and that war prisoners on both sides shall be released by each party to the deal, etc. The FG must have been very pleased with the cease fire, and I was quite expectant of the postponement of the 2015 elections, because that ought to be the most reasonable thing to do at this time, in the best interest of the country. It will almost border on rash insensitivity and unseriousness for a nation in war to find time for campaign razzmatazz and soap box theatricals, which will constitute a huge distraction to those who must plan and execute the war. The Chibok girls are yet to be released, while the nation continues to push on with frenzied campaign arrangements, making it necessary to question the real benefits of the cease fire.
The expected release of the Chibok girls at this time, when political campaigns are about to kick off, leads many to wonder what kind of politicians we have. Have they been playing politics with the girls? Was it a mere coincidence they are just about being released at this time?
The cease fire in itself appears a welcome development, as it will enable the poor people of the war-torn North East zone to breathe some fresh air once again, recollect themselves, find scattered relations and friends and gather what may look like a peaceful life, even though it can never be life as they had it before the war. Cease fire will also allow our fighting forces to re-arm, re-equip, re-organise and sort themselves out to be able to tackle the challenges of saboteurs in the war campaign so far.
However, there are some very bad sides and implications. First, is that it will give the terrorists time to re-organise, re-group and possibly select a new leader. The original Shekau who was the first leader of the terrorists was killed under General Ihejirika as the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, while the second or fake Shekau was killed under the incumbent COAS. It set them very confused and devastated leading to the heavy casualties that they sustained in the recent past. The ceasefire will therefore give them the time they desperately need to re-plan, and re-arm and restructure, to be able to re-launch attacks whenever they may feel ready and able to do so.
Boko Haram is accepting this
cease fire deal because of the heavy casualties they have suffered recently in the hands of the combined fighting forces of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad Republics.
Second, is that politicians will soon be carried away with campaigns, while the common enemy, Boko Haram, re-organises, and strategises preparatory to their next bloody onslaught.
Third, is that the seeming peace which the cease fire will engender will coax Nigerians to relax the prevalent high vigilance, while their enemy, the jihadists, will seize the opportunity to move themselves deep into other safer areas of Nigeria, like the South West, South East and South-South. Fourth, the cease fire will help Boko Haram more than it will help Nigeria, because this war is not just about political power, it is a form of Jihad as far as the enemy is concerned. Their sole aim, ultimately, is to exterminate other religions from Nigeria, especially Christianity.Their methods, may be rough, wicked, inhuman, and even embarrassing to some of their sponsors, but the rate of growth of that group within the last two years shows that their sponsors are not really bothered. They kill, behead and commit all kinds of atrocities in the name of Islam encouraged by their sponsors and some saboteurs in the Nigerian system. It will therefore be naïve and even fool hardy, to expect the cease fire to be of any great value to Nigeria.
Terror sponsors will use the time of temporary truce to re-plan their support for the insurgents by creating new means of channelling funds to them. While the cease fire may seem good and attractive to some politicians, many of them have failed to realise how dangerous and risky it could be to trust jihadists because of the deep religious influence involved.
Jihadists attach little or no value at all to the life and property of non-Muslims and therefore will have no respect for any agreement with them in the first place. Boko Haram should therefore not be trusted by Nigerians for any reason whatsoever!
In a conventional war, usually the armies on both sides are trained and disciplined combatants, with ability to follow the cease fire process. But in this type of war, where you are dealing with half-baked volunteer and commandeered fighting personnel like they have in Boko Haram, anything can happen, moreso with the hindrances America and Europe seem to be posing to Nigeria. This was why the terrorists were busy killing people in villages around Borno State, while the cease fire was being announced. This could turn out to be a very deadly cease fire for Nigerians both within the war zone and elsewhere in the country !

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Delta: Who settles for the crumbs

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It would appear that the dust is gradually settling down over which of the three senatorial districts in Delta State will attract the coveted apex political office in the state.

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America-Nigeria troubled relations

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ON October 10, 2014, the Nigerian Media reported the visit of the American Ambassador in Nigeria to the American University in Yola, Adamawa State. It was not the meeting with the proprietor of the university, a former vice president and a presidential aspirant under the opposition All Progressives Congress during the visit that made the headlines and raised eyebrows but the denigrating comment of the envoy on that occasion. Ambassador James Entwistle, it was reported, had explained that the United States refusal to sell highly needed weaponry to Nigeria in her war against terror and insurgency in the North East of the country was because “the Nigerian Military is notoriously known for human rights abuses”.

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A BOI honour for INNOSON

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Luxury bus manufactured by Innosons Motors

NIGERIA’S march towards home grown industrialization was recently boosted when Bank of Industry inducted ten outstanding customers of the bank into their Hall of Fame. Most importantly was the recognition to the founder/chairman of INNOSON Vehicles Manufacturing Company, Nigeria’s first indigenous motor vehicles manufacturer.

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Transform constituent parts to achieve our dream Nigeria

  /   in Viewpoint 6:59 pm   /   Comments

IT was Professor Chinua Achebe who wrote over a quarter of a century ago in The Trouble With Nigeria that ‘it is basically leadership.’ Several years later, if there is one point on which there is unanimity of opinion among Nigerians, it is that leadership remains a problem in our nation.

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How Ebola disease got to Nigeria

  /   in Viewpoint 11:32 am   /   Comments

Now that we got the ‘all clear’ and we have been able to reasonably restrain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria, we can take a more dispassionate look at the issue, its genesis and some ramifications.

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That Anioma Congress list

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The Anioma branding of a governor from Delta North has been severally criticized by commentators across Delta State. Now many people from Delta Central and South are beginning to see it as a quest to produce an Anioma governor for Delta State as opposed to a pan-Delta governor for Delta State, who happens to hail from Delta North.

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What is wrong with Igbo Politics in Nigeria?

  /   in Viewpoint 12:03 pm   /   Comments

Last week a powerful delegation of Igbo leaders made up of Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Senator Hope Uzodinma; Minister of Labour & Productivity, Emeka Wogu; National Publicity Secretary PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh; Mr Ifeanyi Ubah and former Governor Peter Obi stormed Dover Hotel at Lekki Phase 1 Lagos to woo Ndigbo Lagos for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential bid. At Dover Hotel, they met eminent and prominent Igbo leaders, namely President General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey; President Ndigbo Lagos, Professor Anya. O. Anya; President Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike; former Chairman Diamond Bank, Chief Pascal Dozie; former Governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu(rtd); former President of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Dr Raymond Obieri; Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja, Eze Uche Dimgba and President Ohaneze Ndigbo Lagos, Fabian Onwughalu and many other eminent Igbos in Lagos. Like I said their mission is to persuade Ndigbo in Lagos to join the train in the campaign to make President Jonathan to continue in office even after 2015. The meeting was well attended and this mission was clear: It is President Jonathan or nothing!

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Empower states to explore minerals deposits and diversify economy

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LACK of awareness about the locations of mineral resources in Nigeria makes the country almost exclusively dependent on oil today even though we established ourselves as an agricultural society many years ago.

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Exploring the resource control option, by Futureview

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FUTUREVIEW RESEARCH PRESENTS: EXPLORING THE RESOURCE CONTROL OPTION
Futureview Group, CEO, Mrs. Elizabeth Ebi announces a new Futureview Research initiative on Resource Control in Nigeria. Futureview will look to examine all 36 states in Nigeria and both tapped and untapped opportunities in their natural resource usage. Futureview is a leading investment bank in Nigeria.
On May 29, 2014, Nigeria celebrated 15 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. On October 1st, 2014, Nigeria also celebrated 54 years as an independent nation in West Africa. With this in hindsight, the issues that promote the sustainability of democracy and sustain the structures of national development need to be addressed.
In this article, we discuss one of the most sensitive issues that has impacted our fragile democracy in recent times, that is the resource control policy option and its place in national growth and development of our country.
The word “resource” can simply be interpreted to mean the wealth, supplies of goods, raw materials, minerals e.t.c, which a person or a country has or can use for development or production (Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, 1962: 838). The control and determination of natural resources, i.e the way and manner state authorities allocate and distribute government revenue among the various tiers or levels of its administration, is the broad understanding of resource control in our context.
Resource control has remained a contentious issue in Nigeria because of the widely held belief that the exercise of autonomy by the component states of the federation (states and local governments) regarding the provision of social and economic services for their people are largely dependent on the portion of the “national cake” allocated to them. In other words, the greater the portion of the total revenue allocated to both state and local governments, the greater the degree of independent decision making of these governments in carrying out various socio-economic tasks of growth and development in order to advance the general welfare of their citizenry.
The failure of the federal government to find a political solution to this problem has led to a very plausible demand for resource and self determination within the federation (Ikelegbe 2001). Over the years, the federal government has tried to address the problems occasioned by cries for resource control through administrative agencies such as OMPADEC (Oil Mineral Producing Areas development Commission) and NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission). As a result of corruption and lack of commitment on the part of the government and multinational companies these efforts amounted to nothing (Frynas, 200; Akpan, 2004). Several other attempts made at reaching acceptable revenue sharing formulae have yielded little or no result. In the light of the above scenario, it has become important to take a critical look at the natural endowment of some select states of the federation to ascertain the often held belief that greater focus and development of local resources would reduce and eliminate the incidence of state and local government in the states relying on the center for survival.
There are about thirty-four (34) minerals that have been identified in the country, of which only 13 are being actually mined, processed and marketed.  They are coal (which has an export potential of 15 million tonnes per annum valued at US$1billion) kaolin, baryte, limestone, dolomite, feldspar, glass sand, gemstones, gold, iron ore, lead-zinc, tin, other associated minerals and recently gypsum. The remaining twenty (21) minerals, though in demand are untapped.
The volumes of domestic trade deficit and foreign exchange losses resulting from this deficiency are colossal.
The availability of these minerals opens up opportunities in the following areas:
(a) Exports and use in domestic industries for generation of foreign exchange and internal revenue.
(b) Emergence of new industrial and downstream products. 
(c) Increased employment of Nigerians, particularly in the rural areas where the minerals are found.
(d) Technology transfer and development.
(e) Development of infrastructure, especially in the rural areas (roads, hospitals, rail, schools and housing)
The multiplier benefits to the citizenry are enormous. In fact, the solid minerals sector can very easily be the largest employment sector of the economy, since deposits abound in virtually every State of the Federation. Prior to the creation of the new ministry of Solid Minerals Development, enquiries and demands were made for Nigerian solid minerals, especially coal. Since inception, orders to the tune of 15 million tonnes of coal have been received.
Natural resources distribution data made available on the website of the federal government (www.nigeria.gov.ng) reveal that Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of Natural resources ranging from precious metals various stones to industrial such as Barites, Gypsum, Kaolin and Marble. Most of these are yet to be exploited and statistically, the level of exploitation of active mineral sites is very low in relation to the extent of deposit found in the country.
Ogun State, for instance located in South-West Nigeria and bordering the popular Lagos State is endowed with immense industrial minerals including minerals including limestone, gypsum, kaolin, feldspar phosphate in Egbado North and South and Sagamu; mica, glass sand, clay granite in Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South and Ado-Odo/Ota; tar sand, kaolin, clay and phosphate in Ikenne, Ijebu-East, Ijebu; North, Ijebu-Ode, Obafemi- Owode and Ogun Waterside LGAs. Forest, agricultural and mineral resources in the state provide the much needed local sources of raw materials for industries.
Cement manufacturing plants at Ewekoro and Sagamu were based on the available limestone and other components in the state. Glass sand, feldspar and clay available in the state would supply the required raw materials for glass, ceramics and pottery industries, while Kaolin is an important raw material for making Chalk, paint, Kaolin poltice and plaster of Paris (POP).
Efforts to increase the state’s GDP through the mining and minerals sector, however, have been severely hampered by factors including inadequate technology, non-transparency and ineffective regulations guiding activities in the sector. Perhaps, most damaging to that mission to reform the sector is the activity of illegal miners, who are often described as informal or artisanal miners. The challenge posed by activities of illegal miners has remained intractable in spite of the administration’s efforts to streamline their ‘operations’ by encouraging the formation of co-operatives.
In similar manner in different locations in the country could be found these “illegal miners”  engaged in one form of mining activity or the other often in collaboration with ‘briefcase investors’ who act as middlemen between the ‘miners’ and the end buyers of the products. Poor regulation of activities by this category of miners – which number in hundreds of thousands- have effectively ensured that government’s stake in the exploitation of these natural resources is sidelined, and government revenue through taxation and royalties are denied.
It is about time government evolves an all embracing resource control and resource management policy that integrates the activities of these illegal miners in a consistent and well sustained effort to enhance government revenue and reap the benefits of the presence of these solid minerals in every state of the federation.

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