The Nigerian Senate took a swipe at Dele Alake, the Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals, on Thursday, after he failed to honour an invitation to appear before its Committee on Solid Minerals.
The Red Chamber said the relative inexperience exhibited by Alake has created a cloudy future for the yet-to-be-explored wealth of the ministry.
The Senate, which summoned Alake, to appear before its Committee on Solid Minerals Wednesday, chided him for disregarding its invitation and threatened zero allocation in the 2024 budget.
Alake is expected to brief the senate committee on the federal government’s work plan to develop the sector and block illegal mining.
The committee made the resolution, during its meeting and expressed dissatisfaction about the failure of the minister to appear before it
The panel said Alake usually gave excuses that he travelled with Tinubu, and expressed concerns that the minister had abandoned his primary duties of bringing the mining sector to international repute.
The committee, which threatened to give zero allocation to the ministry in the2024 fiscal year, if the Minister failed to amend his ways, advised him to start responding to the invitations of the committee.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sampson Ekong, who issued the summon at the meeting, maintained that his panel would ensure the right legal frameworks that would bring a positive turn around of the sector.
Ekong pointed out that accountability and transparency would be the watch word of the Committee.
He noted that the Bitumen bill sent to the Committee would be expeditiously processed and presented to the Senate for passage and onward transition to the President for assent.
He said: “The Nigerian solid minerals and extractive industry is very vast and grossly under-taped. God in his unquestionable benevolence has blessed Nigeria with huge mineral deposits.
“However, a a number of factors have continued to hamper the sector. The sector has the potential to contribute significantly to our economy.”
Ekong also pointed out that the 2021 contributions of the solid minerals sector to Nigeria’s GDP stood at 0.63 per cent.