Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Zamfara Governor, Bello Matawalle, has attributed the influx of guns in the state to foreigners who use arms to pay for gold and other mineral deposits.
He has, therefore, sought the help of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the menace of illegal mining.
He spoke to State House Correspondents on Monday night after he presented some gold bars and other precious stones mined in his state to Buhari.
The gold is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Nigeria had earlier mined, processed and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, (PAGMI). The first batch of PAGMI gold was unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari on July 16, 2020.
According to Matawalle, to break the cycle of foreigners illegal foray into the states, the state government has been buying minerals from locals to boost the local economy assuring that within two to three months, the state will go into full scale mining.
The governor called for the strengthening of local miners in the state so that they could benefit from the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) programme of the federal government.
The governor also dismissed calls for the sack of service chiefs on the grounds that sacking them will not end the insecurity bedevilling the nation.