Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Katsina State government says murderous activities of bandits and kidnappers constitute what it describes as the greatest challenge for the exploitation of the abundant solid minerals resources in the area.
With over 37 confirmed assorted solid minerals deposits including diamond and gold, and 400 mining sites spread across the 34 local government areas, the Commissioner for Resource Development, Alhaji Abdullahi Imam, lamented on Monday that, “banditry has had devastating effects on the exploitation of these solid minerals.”
Imam who briefed the press on activities of his ministry explained that, “most of the mining sites are located in the forest areas and these are the hideout of the bandits.”
However, according to him, the Federal and state governments have initiated certain measures to check the security challenge noting that, “very soon, Katsina State will become buoyant and will have adequate resources for development.
“It is important to note that, at present, the mining sector contribution to the nation’s earnings is quite insignificant and it had become imperative to develop and monitor non-oil sectors in order to stop overdependence on the oil sector.
“Katsina State is blessed with over 37 types of solid mineral resources and this sector has the potential of generating millions of jobs for our teeming youth population and contributing enormously to the nation’s GDP.”
Apart from the establishment of a mining company as a special purpose vehicle to drive mining activities in the state, Imam said that government was equally monitoring the issue of illegal mining with a clear strategy to legitimise activities of the operators.
“Community development programmes are being actively pursued in areas where mining activities take place and we will ensure that all environmental and safety issues are properly addressed.
“We are currently interfacing with financial institutions to create awareness regarding available funding programmes for the mining sector and how to utilise them, “ Imam said.