By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Oba Festus Adeyemi, the Alakola of Ikola-Ijesa in Atakumosa West Local Government Area of Osun State, has commended Governor Gboyega Oyetola, on his efforts to diversify the state’s economy through gold mining.
Oba Adeyemi noted that with more revenue coming into state coffers through mining, Osun would in no time end over-reliance on federal allocation, even as the nation continued to struggle to end reliance on crude oil for revenue.
The traditional ruler made the remarks during the rural/community engagement programme organised by the state’s Civic Engagement Office on Sunday in Ikola-Ijesa.
Oba Adeyemi, who commended the governor for minimising illegal gold mining in the state, said with the current efforts to sanitise the mining sector, mining will soon be good source of revenue for the state.
He said: “I want to commend the governor for taking mining activities from artisan to corporate level, with the involvement of private sector players coming for exploration and exportation.
“This will have a positive effect on the economy of the state because with the current efforts of the governor, in the next few years, gold will be our own crude oil in Osun State.
“Our state will be known for a major supply of gold in Nigeria and around the world.
“We are also collaborating with the Federal Government on mining. Our state is one of the two states, along with Kebbi State, selected as pilot states for the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI).”
Adeyemi, as an Oba of a community where mining activities take place also commended Oyetola’s positive efforts in the areas of health, infrastructure, agriculture and education across the state.
In his response, Governor Oyetola who was represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Hon Oyintiloye Olatunbosun said that Osun is known for large deposit of mineral resources, such gold, lead, zinc, quartz, feldspar and several precious metals.
The governor, however, assured that his administration was poised to invest in the resources for the growth of the economy.
He also reiterated the commitments of his administration to partner with willing investors in the country with interest in responsible gold mining in the state.
Oyetola also commended the licensed mining company operating in the state for maintaining cordial relationship with host communities and pledged unalloyed support of his administration to the mining company to ensure it operates to the optimum level.
The governor also added that gold mining project in the state was in-line with economic diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oyetola, while noting that the future of the state was assured, charged the host communities to continue to make the environment conducive for the gold mining company.