Dr. Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, asserted that state governors lack constitutional authority to prohibit mining activities. Speaking at a pre-event press conference in Abuja ahead of the 8th edition of the Nigerian Mining Week 2023, scheduled for October 16–18, Alake emphasized that mining falls exclusively under the federal government’s purview according to the Constitution.

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    Alake cautioned against State Governors taking unilateral actions to regulate the mining sector, labeling such efforts as illegal and constitutionally unauthorized, similar to their lack of authority over oil and gas activities. He clarified that mining, like oil and solid minerals, resides in the exclusive legislative list, granting sole authority to the federal government for the enactment of laws, regulations, and operational oversight.

    Highlighting the constitutional framework, Alake explained that while local engagement is a crucial aspect of mining regulation, it occurs in collaboration with host communities and the federal government. He acknowledged that states interested in engaging in mining operations can do so through due process, forming their Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and applying for a mining license. However, he underscored that unilateral state regulation of mining activities equates to the illegality of a state attempting to ban oil exploration.

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