Samuel Bello, Abuja
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has called on major players in the mining sector to encourage women to grow and be strong players so as to encourage more participation in the industry.
The First Lady stated this at the weekend in Abuja at the opening of the African Gems and Jewellery Exhibition seminar (AGJES), with the theme: “Mines to Market: Collaborating to improve industry linkages.”
Represented by the wife of the Nasarawa State governor, Mairo Almakura, she urged women to ensure that there is gender balance in opportunities in the sector.
“I know that this is an era when women all over the world are interested in mining and I hopeful that there is gender balance in opportunities in the sector. I wish to use this opportunity to call on women to avail themselves the opportunities in the mining sector as it is indeed their sector. I also call on the major players to encourage women to grow and be a strong voice so that they will participate more.
“I assure the public here, that my husband, the executive governor of Nasarawa State, would also try and do a lot to curtail the (activities of) illegal miners. There are so many security agencies around there so that people do not come and do illegal mining. They would have to follow due process, which is really helping the state in generating its IGR,” she said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, said that there was a running battle getting back departments of cooperatives that actually should be domicile in his ministry.
He, however, urged artisanal miners in the country to form a cooperative society so as to carry on their activities easily without trouble.
“If you go to the mining proper, most of the people are artisanal miners who are not documented; so we banned all of them (who are) illegal miners, whereas we know that it’s just a little easy to make them formal sector miners – people who are known. Just form cooperatives for them. “We found (it) a running battle getting back departments of cooperatives that actually should be domicile in the ministry of labour.
“In fact, the price oxidation in oil causes confusion for Nigeria in terms of our projections and marketing and the only area we can grow to know our stability like that of oil, is to mining,” Ngige said.