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PLATEAU BEGS FG FOR N75BN TO SOLVE ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

By NBF News
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Plateau State Government yesterday approached Federal Government for a total of N75 billion to solve ecological problems created by excessive tin mining in the state.

Making the demand in Abuja, when he called on the Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the Acting Governor of the State, Ambassador Ignatius Datong Longjan stated that before the advent of oil, Plateau State supported the Nigerian economy for several decades as the largest exporter of tin in the world and the state did not enjoy any derivation benefit that time.

According to the acting governor, tin mining left behind a severely devastated environment, which now poses a serious threat to lives and economy of the state.

To this effect, he said, Plateau State is compelled to seek assistance to reclaim the damaged lands for sustainable national development.

'Furthermore, we hope to exploit our vast solid minerals and agricultural endowments, which would diversify and create linkages in the economy, lessen our dependence on oil, enhance food security and generate jobs, all for the benefit of the country,' Datong Longjan, said.

The Acting Governor tabled a three-pronged sectoral funding requests covering Ecology/Environment N48.9 billion, Solid Minerals N3.1 billion and Agriculture N22.5 billion all amounting to N75 billion. He, however, noted that the state is interested in the expected review of the revenue allocation formula like other stakeholders saying that the state is interested in accessing the special fund for ecology and natural resources development.

Earlier, the Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam had urged the states to diversify their revenue base as the statutory allocation would not be enough for them to execute their projects. He, however, commended the Plateau State Government for diversifying the economy of the state through agriculture while pointing out that because of the need for states to diversify their economy, the commission was planning a workshop for the six geo-political zones beginning from Minna, Niger State.