Benue Blood and 34 solid minerals

Benue Blood and 34 solid minerals

The Benue government says 34 out of the 44 solid minerals in the country are found in the state.

The state chairman of the Mineral Resources and Environment Management Committee (MIREMCO), Fidelis Mnyim, disclosed this at a news conference on Friday in Makurdi.


Mr Mnyim, also the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, said the state was hugely blessed with over 85 per cent of the country’s mineral deposits.

He said the committee was also mandated to ensure that mineral deposits in the state were fully developed.


Mr Mnyim explained that the committee, saddled with the responsibility of advising the Minister of Solid Minerals on issues related to the sector, would also serve as a link between the federal government, the state, and the host communities.

According to him, the committee will also ensure smooth mining activities in Benue communities and a good working relationship between the locals and the miners for improved revenue generation.


“The committee is to advise the Minister of Solid Minerals on all issues relating to the sector for effective action. We will also liaise with and create synergy among the federal government, the state, and the host communities to ensure that mineral resources are properly developed and harnessed.

“We will ensure that the state’s internally generated revenue is increased through the collection of the 13 per cent royalties collected on mining,” said the chairman.


Mr Mniyim further expressed regrets over the activities of illegal miners and the improper coordination of mining activities.

He said this was affecting state revenue and that it must be stopped.

The chairman said going forward, a desk officer would be at the committee’s head office in Makurdi to collate the data of all miners.


Mr Mnyim said there were different categories of miners in the state: those with licences but not mining, those without proper licences, and those with licences and mining but not paying the relevant fees.

He said the committee would also ensure that host communities collect the exact surface rent and sign the appropriate mining agreement.


According to him, illegal mining is contributing significantly to the ongoing insecurity in the state, people are being slaughtered for it.


Before he left office, Governor Samuel Ortom in November 2022 expressed optimism that the potential inherent in gold and 33 other solid mineral deposits in the state can be harnessed for its economic viability.

Ortom also said the natural potential can make Benue an economically self-reliant federating unit of Nigeria.


The governor’s remark was contained in the 2023 budget speech presented to the Benue State House of Assembly in Makurdi.

He said, “Benue State is estimated to be home to a sizable number of about 34 solid minerals found in Nigeria, with limestone, gold, baryte, salt among those already identified as commercially viable.


“River Benue, which lends the state its name, is the second largest inland body of water in Nigeria. The potential exists to grow an agro-industrial economy that will make Benue an economically self-reliant federating unit of Nigeria.”

“Over 80 per cent of our estimated 6.77 million population is into farming. Over 95 per cent of the state’s 34,000sq km of land is arable and can grow almost all tropical crops.”

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