Engr. Ethan Uzamere, the Edo State Commissioner for Mining and Energy, has appealed to federal lawmakers to begin the process of changing the Nigeria Constitution especially as it relates to the things captured in the exclusive list.
He made the appeal while responding to questions in a media chat in his office at the state secretariat building recently.
On the issue of the inactivity of the erstwhile State Petroleum Monitoring Team, he said, “in the past Monitoring Team has been going around trying to address the issue of scarcity especially of downstream petroleum. Things that start good sometimes end bad.
“We found people extorting filling station owners. A lot of the filling station owners reported that the Monitoring Team extorted them from business.”
He disclosed that he had to stop the team and do an investigation into what was really causing the scarcity and he discovered that the scarcity of the petroleum products, especially the PMS, around the country was as a result of lack of access roads compounded by flooding.
“This is why we are telling our federal lawmakers to review the constitution of the country. This so called federal exclusive list what can the states do to at least assist in this process. That might even help them out.
“When you try to have conversations with them they always bring up the exclusive list. I think if the state is more involved there are things we can do to help the process.”
On the closure of the Damgbala Mining Site in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, the Commissioner disclosed that it was closed down “because of some security reports that there are some terrorists there. The state had to shut it down to avoid what has happened in other states.”
Going further, he stated that “as of now we have gotten the rightful miners and the people who have licence there. We have proposed that when we open the site only the people with licences can have access to the site.
“We are going to collaborate with the Federal Ministry, the local government and the state government to make sure we do the management.”
Engr. Uzamere, who was surrounded by top officials of his Ministry including the Permanent Secretary, Engr. Ferguson Enabulele, as the briefing lasted, disclosed that the state government has gotten some approval for solid minerals exploration.
“We are also being very careful because what we have noticed is that when business are run by the state government, especially when politics gets involved, it has some issues.
On the hitches intermittently suffered by the Ossiomo Power Plant, because of shortage of gas, the Commissioner said that efforts are on to ensure that it has continuous supply of gas.