Kebbi State Gold Mine Visit
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Olukayode Fayemi, has said that the federal government would enter into partnership with the Kebbi State government and its local miners to produce gold in large quantity in Fakai, Bagudo and Shanga areas of the state.
Fayemi, who was accompanied by the Minister of State, Abubakar Bawa Bwari and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, during his visit to mining sites at Garin Auwalu in Fakai area of the state, said, “we have deposited N5 billion at the Bank of Industry for small scale artisan miners like the ones we have in Kebbi State so that they will not only earn a living but would be able to contribute to the state’s economy and that of the country at large. This is how our economy can be real economy and not the casino type of economy”.
He said he was impressed to see the artisan miners producing gold in higher granite and organizing themselves.
“What we need to do is to enter into partnership with the state government and the artisan gold miners by offering them legitimate land space to operate, technical support by way of equipment and encourage them to engage in safer mining practice beyond the use of mercury which is dangerous. We need to also support them with credit guaranteed through the Bank of Industry”, he said.
The minister was however not happy with the licensed operators in the area for not carrying out their social responsibilities to the host community. He said the law stipulates that licensed operators must provide community support and must be captured in an agreement called community development agreement.
“The Garin Auwalu village head said all the things that were promised by the operating company have not been redeemed. The school, mosque and hospital they promised have not been provided. The only rudimentary road there is to provide access for the licensed operators not to serve the community”, he said.
On his part, Governor Bagudu said the visit of the two ministers was an endorsement of the vision of the local miners in Kebbi State and a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to support all sectors of the nation’s economy to operate at optimal capacity.