By Sola Olugbemiro
The visit of the Governor of Zamfara State to Abuja two days ago to meet with President Mohammadu Buhari at State House along with the presentation of mineral resources from the state to the President, has elicited much excitement in Gusau the state’s capital.
Top on the list of the mineral resources presented to the President was gold mined directed from the soil of the state. We spoke to some pf the indigenes of the state on how they feel about the new discovery and their expectations for the state. A female lawyer Aishatu Umar said she hustles between Lagos, London and Gusau, that she was actually caught in Gusau by the pandemic lockdown so she has been staying in Gusau since March and this happens to be her longest stay in Nigeria in the last four years. Her opinion is that Governor Bello Matawalle is indeed a technocrat in government. She said that she admires the dedication and concern of the governor towards the development of the mineral resources in the state and that it has always been her belief that that government should take over the mining in the state in order to stop the illegal mining that has been seen in the state in the past.
A secondary school teacher Aliyu Abubakar on his part said, “I am pleased that this governor is bringing order to the state. He has tackled the issue of bandits here though we still have little skirmishes, but the incessant killings has well reduced. My joy now is that this gold mining thing is going to bring a major development to Zamfara state and there will be more jobs hopefully.”
Hassan Ali an elderly farmer who started his comments with dance steps and the singing of local popular song in his dialect, interpreted it saying, ”my song means finally a lover of Zamfara stste is in leadership to help the poor. Soon our state will be rich as other states in the country that has mineral resources. I am happy that this is happening in my time and i am a living witness.”
Another school teacher Saidu Aliyu told us point blank that he is sooner going to abandon his teaching job to go and learn more so that he could be employed in the mining sector. He said over the years, his teaching job has helped him to stabilize as a man, but he is very interested in going to work in the mining sector.
A feeling that Sani Garba, a tailor also expressed along with some of the youths that we speak to in the state capital.
As it is, it seems that most of the people in the state, had all along been looking forward to the day and time that the government would eventually take over the official mining of the mineral resources in the state.
According to the Governor of the state, His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle, already the state has acquired equipment for gold mining that will make the state a business hub. He actually mentioned that such transformation could take place within a few months.
But again, why not? One is forced to consider because as it is, the state already has in place a state of the art gold refinery equipment which is said to have been mounted in Baka Lori Dam, with more refining facilities coming before the end of 2020. Also already in place is the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) in the state.
It could also be recalled that Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state, during his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, made known that “his administration is set to make Zamfara a model in solid minerals development.” And that he will be partnering with serious investors from South Africa and Russia to kickstart the mining program.