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We found gold deposits along Abuja-Nasarawa highway – FG

THE Federal Government’s dream of diversifying the economy  using mines and steel as viable options received a boost yesterday with the discovery of gold deposits along Abuja, Nasarawa axis of the country.

The discovery was made by the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project being undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed this while playing host to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, in Abuja.

According to a statement issued by the media aide to the minister, Ayodeji Adeyemi, the FMMSD would develop the mineral resources in Nasarawa.

Adegbite said his ministry was resolved to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience (where bandits were largely in charge of the gold mining) in Nasarawa State.

He added that the NIMEP project which had cost the ministry N15bn had generated many geoscience data that had foreign investors excited about the mining prospects across the country.

 “Nasarawa State is the home of solid minerals in the country. We had an earlier discussion about recent discovery of precious minerals in the Nasarawa, Abuja axis.

“As you probably might be aware, we have been talking about this for a while; there is a programme we call NIMEP executed by the ministry where government has put about N15bn into exploration for minerals, one of which is gold.

“We have done this exploration across the country and we have discovered a very nice track of gold deposits especially between Abuja and Nasarawa where we share borders,” Adegbite was quoted as saying. 

Adegbite allayed the concerns of the Nasarawa State Government about the menace of illegal gold mining snowballing in the state due to the large deposits of gold in the state.

He said the ministry was working with relevant security agencies to avert such unwanted activities from happening.

Reacting to the cheering news, the governor of Nasarawa state said that his state was prepared to work with the ministry to prevent the snowballing of illegal mining in Nasarawa.

Sule stressed that his administration was indeed concerned about the threat of illegal mining and its associated vices.

He noted that despite experiencing some form of illegal mining of gold in the area called Ukai, the area had attracted some respectable companies who were mining legally in the state.

This development comes barely 24 hrs after President Buhari restated his administration’s commitment to the diversification of the economy by exploring and exploiting the mining sector.

Buhari said while declaring open the 56th annual international conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

He spoke on the theme: ‘Responsible exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in a secured environment’. 

Buhari said, “It is also to this end that I directed the ministers of Mines and Steel Development to strengthen collaboration with state governments and relevant security agencies to ensure the security and safety of all mining areas. In so doing, we can achieve sustainable development of the minerals sector for the peace and security of our great country and good people.

“It is in furtherance of our commitment and resolve to address the security challenges that I recently charged the newly-decorated service chiefs that they have just a few weeks to crush all forms of criminality in the country. We cannot yield the sovereignty of our nation to a bunch of individuals, who have refused to see reasons to abandon their criminality.

“The security chiefs have been mandated to forcefully bring this criminality to an immediate end. Let me reiterate that the government is more than capable and more than ever determined to halt all forms of criminality perpetuated by these individuals.”

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