Why Benue should enjoy 13% derivation – Alia 

Benue state governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, Monday, said there is the need for the state to benefit from the 13% derivation from the federation account enjoyed by others.

Alia lamented that but for lack of vision and underhand dealings by past leaders, Benue state should be enjoying 13% derivation from solid minerals in the state.

The chief press secretary to the governor, Tersoo Kula, in a statement issued Monday quoted the governor to have said this while addressing Benue diaspora community on a zoom meeting organised by the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA), and the Idoma Association in the United States of America.

The essence of the address,  he said, was to enable the Benue diaspora get firsthand information on the present administration’s general policy direction, security initiatives as well as the government’s drive in sectors such as agriculture, mining, education, health, banking and finance as well as physical and digital infrastructure.

Speaking on the mining/extractive sector, the governor said although the state is the most blessed in terms of mineral deposits, the mining sector remains one area that has not been properly tapped, adding that there was no coordination in the past, thereby allowing things to be carried out illegally in the sector.

“It is only when we came in on May 29th, 2023, that we made the Benue people realise they have solid minerals. Is it that they never existed before we came in? No, they were there. But those who knew, those who were robbing us, came in there and carted away what they wanted.

“It is so surprising to hear that it is our very own who were robbing us of the solid minerals. They knew the solid minerals existed there and invited the bad guys who came in behind to rob us.”

He said the state government has placed a moratorium on mining activities in the state in order to fish out the illegal miners, adding that traditional rulers have been warned not to sign MOUs with the miners as was obtainable in the past. 

He added that anyone found engaging those foreigners who come from nowhere to start mining in the villages will not be spared.