REVEALED: Five Strategies That Can Help Enhance Nigeria’s Rural Development Potentials
THE Department of Rural Development, of THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture not so long ago, came out with a finding that showed that Nigeria is blessed with a wealth and variety of minerals, widely distributed in every part of the country.
Yet WORLD LEADERS survey has shown that only a small proportion of these has been discovered and assessed, and of this only a small proportion is being exploited. While this limited exploitation has already contributed significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for the bulk of our exports and foreign exchange earnings, it has done to little to improve the economy of the rural area involved, and too much to bring social disaffection and environment degradation.
A close source at the Ministry revealed to us during our course of investigation that the objective of the Rural Development policy in this sector is to correct this situation and transform the mineral sector into a powerful instrument of sustainable rural development, with special emphasis on the empowerment and participation of the rural communities.
According, the major objectives in the mineral development sector are:
* To explore, develop and exploit the mineral resources of rural area with a view to expanding their economic base;
* To ensure that those rural communities endowed with mineral resources have appropriate and adequate stake in the local mining enterprise therein and derive full benefits from their operation; and
* To ensure that the rural environment is protected and conserved by mining operators in the interest of sustainable development.
ON the Strategies to achieve these objectives we are informed that they included, but not limited to
I. Promoting indigenous and local entrepreneurship in the extraction, marking and utilization of minerals;
II. Encouraging indigenous and local enterprises in the production of equipment and materials as well as the provision of services to the local mining enterprises;
III. Establishing local committees involving government, the mining enterprises and the relevant communities to take appropriate and adequate steps to protect the environment, monitor the environmental impact of mining operations and ensure that adequate preventive, corrective or compensation measures are taken as and when necessary;
IV. Ensuring that local people have a fair share of employment in local mining operation; and
V. Encouraging local mining enterprises to be good corporate citizens by contributing to social and infrastructural development of the communities in their area of operation.
*This is a SPECIAL CERUTTI
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