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IMPROVED GOLD MINING OPERATIONS TO GENERATE 250,000 JOBS, $500M ANNUALLY IN ROYALTIES, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI

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President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said improved gold mining operations in the country will generate no fewer than 250,000 jobs and over $500m annually in royalties and taxes to the Federal Government.
 
President Buhari disclosed this at the official presentation of locally mined gold bars by the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI), where he also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to establish gold refineries in Nigeria.  
 
He said this laudable initiative would support efforts at creation of jobs for Nigerians, diversifying the revenue base, and improving foreign exchange reserves.
 
Reiterating the determination of the Federal Government to combat illegal mining activities, the President expressed concern that Nigeria lost close to $3b from 2012 – 2018 due to illegal smuggling of gold.
 
‘‘With the implementation of the PAGDMI scheme which will result in the set-up of accredited gold buying centres across key mining areas, artisanal miners and SMEs engaged in mining will be able to capture the value of their work.
 
‘‘These operations will help in diversifying our revenue base. The sale of gold by artisanal miners and SMEs at accredited centers will help the government in realizing royalties and taxes from the sale of these assets.
 
‘‘These developments will also help in improving our foreign reserves by enabling the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the amount of gold in its reserves.
 
‘‘These gold assets which will be purchased in Naira, will not only help to bolster our international reserves, it will also provide a hedge against inflation and other economic volatilities associated with foreign currencies that are held in our reserves,’’ the President said.
 
President Buhari noted that in addition to the potential revenue gains that will occur from mining operations, efforts are being made to enable the setting up of gold refineries in Nigeria.
 
He expressed optimism that these measures would lead to the creation of additional job opportunities across the gold value chain and also help the  nation capture the additional value created from the gold refining process.
 
On environmental degradation, President Buhari pledged that Government would pay close attention to safety and environmental measures to protect workers and the environment.
 
The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to commend all stakeholders involved in the PAGMI for their painstaking efforts in developing a programme aimed at improved sourcing and refining of high-quality gold bars, derived from minefields in Nigeria.
 
The President recalled that the PAGMI, which was launched in 2019, was well timed, considering the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and indeed on the Nigerian economy.
 
He said the impact of COVID-19 and the containment measures designed to slow the spread of the virus, had led to a slowdown in global growth, which is projected to decline into negative territory for the first time since the Great Depression.
 
‘‘It has also led to a 40 percent drop in crude oil prices. In Nigeria, the drop in crude oil prices has had a significant impact on government revenue, as well as on our foreign exchange earnings.
 
‘‘In responding to this challenge, it is therefore paramount that we strengthen our efforts at implementing policies and programs that will enable greater diversification of the Nigerian economy.
 
‘‘Enabling investment in the Solid Mineral sector, is a key part of the government’s economic diversification program.
 
‘‘Given our current estimated gold reserves of over 200m ounces, most of which have not been exploited, developing sustainable programmes that will catalyse increased investment in the extraction and refining of gold sourced from mines in Nigeria, is indeed vital,’’ he said.
 
Emphasizing the benefits of the PAGMDI, the President explained that it will support job creation efforts particularly for artisanal miners, by providing them with a guaranteed offtake by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
 
Furthermore, he said efforts are being made to support artisanal miners in improving the standard of the gold that will be sold to the apex bank, in order to ensure that they meet international benchmarks.
 
According to him, the initiative will enable the deployment of financing schemes that will help miners improve on the quality of their mining operations.
 
‘‘The gold buying program by the Central Bank will ensure that artisanal miners are no longer subjected to the volatility in gold prices that occurs in the absence of credible off-takers, which has often led to a significant loss in the value of gold sold by miners, as well as in encouraging illegal smuggling,’’ he said.
 

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 16, 2020

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APC NORTH WEST: HOW GOV. MATAWALLE IS SETTING THE BALL ROLLING FOR ASIWAJU AND SHATIMA

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The mamooth crowd of young agile and vibrant politicians who are mostly the initiators of PDP and Atiku support groups that gathered at the APC North West Zonal Secretariat to surrender their political support for Asiwaju is an eye-opener that APC is gathering momentum and will in 2023 sweep the North West with relative ease.

Governor Bello Matawalle in company of the North West Vice Chairman for the APC Alh Salihu Lukman spent hours receiving the PDP and Atiku support groups who came on with their different narratives of how they have suffered in the hand of the PDP.

The National Secretary of the PDP Transformation Ambassadors Mal. Bashir Muhammad said despite the investment they have made in the PDP for years, they are pleased to have a political U-turn and join forces with Governor Bello Matawalle ok m the APC so that they will support him to deliver the Asiwaju presidential project.

He lamented that despite having strong political structures with a network of other political support groups across the divides of Nigeria, the PDP did not see reason to honor them with even recognition for the commitment they have demonstrated over the years.

Atiku Kawai another political support groups, lamented that PDP and Atiku had never for once, recognize their effort despite using their resources to build up structures across the (36) states of the Federation and Abuja where their headquarters is located noting that, to even see Atiku Abubakar after Investing on his Presidential candidature since after the primary election become something difficult.

Usman Muhammad Rabiu Bichi who is the National Coordinator of the movement said he went to the extent of reaching out to one of the biological children of Atiku for him to be able to see how he can take the leadership of the group to the Presidential candidate of the PDP, but it was story full of folktales.

He said with the support of Alh Masud Danguruf from Katsina and Alh Abdullahi Gama they have now rescinded from the PDP journey and agreed to join forces with the Governor Bello Matawalle in the APC.

The Governor who expressed happiness with the development insisted that Alh Masud Danguruf and Abdullahi Gama knew how hard he has invested for the PDP project and insisted that the best presidential project to be supported by the Nigerians is that of the APC.

He informed the young politicians that why he brought them to the Zonal Headquarters of the party in Kaduna is for the party leadership to be aware of their defection and also carried them along in the Asiwaju Ahmad Tinubu presidential journey.

He promised to support them at all time and urged them to redouble the commitment they have exhibited over the years for them to demonstrate the rationale behind their political movement.

They handed over their certificates of registration with the PDP to the Zonal Vice Chairman Salihu Lukman and hope to be re-registered in the APC.

 

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2023 ELECTION: HOW PDP LOSES DOZEN OF ACTIVE POLITICAL SUPPORT GROUPS TO TINUBU AND APC

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It was a series of political engagements for the Coordinator North West APC Presidential Campaign Council Governor Bello Matawalle as he received comity of PDP political support groups who decided to defect the opposition PDP for the ruling All Progressive Congress APC.

The APC North West Zonal Secretariat situated at Isah Kaita road Kaduna was filled to capacity as the groups mobilized supporters from across Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Somot and Kano.

 

The groups comprises the popular. Atiku Support Organization PDP Transformation Ambassadors Atiku Abubakar Kawai, PDP Mobilizers Initiative and Kasa Daya Al’umma Daya.

Others are Atiku/Okowo Frontiers Movement G7 Business Community, Katsina Biyayya Forum, Atiku Women and Youth Initiative as well as Atiku Nigeria Transformation Ambassadors.

The defection mantra attracted over 50,000 supporters from across the seven states of North West geo-political zone mostly involving youths, women and agile political class.

They both expressed confidence with the political maturity of Governor Bello Matawalle in unifying the party and making the APC stronger in the North West geo-political zone.

They also expressed dismay that they have to defect out of the PDP because the party and it’s Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar have refused to appreciate the effort of the support groups in the mobilization Frontiers for the success of the party.

Members of Atiku Support Organization and Atiku Abubakar Kawai specifically said they have invested heavily in the Atiku project since 2015 but noting that, nothing has came out of their suffering instead the candidate and indeed the party abandoned them to their fate.

They both expressed regret that they have to waste much of their times working for a party that does not recognized their effort and as such insisted that time has come for them to move ahead with the APC and bring the desired changes for the country.

G7 Business Community based in Kano and Katsina Biyayya Group explained that their movement is informed by the political behaviour of Bello Matawalle who is always advocating for true democratic reforms, Youth and women inclusion.

The two political groups invited Governor Bello Matawalle to honor them by going to Kano and Katsina and inaugurate their campaign officea which they rebranded after Bola Ahmad Tinubu and Kashim Shatima.

Governor Bello Matawalle who was looking visibly emotional thanked the young agile politicians for chosen to align with the Bola Ahmad Tinubu and APC noting that Tinubu project is the better option for transformed Nigeria.

He recalled that APC is the only party that uphold to the principles of power rotation saying the highest justice to be done to the people of the South is to be able to shift power to their region so that justice and equality can be ensured.

He told the defectees that Bola Tinubu has mapped out strategic development plans that would help consolidate the existing reforms embarked often by the party under President Muhammad Buhari.

He urged Nigerians to ignore those antagonists that are trying to hide under the umbrella of religion and raised baseless arguments that are of no effects to the political development of Nigeria.

He assured them of his commitment as the campaign Coordinator for Tinubu in ensuring that the defectees are well accommodated and also give them a sense of accommodation.

He promised the two support groups that extended an invitation to him that he will personally visit Kano and Katsina state to commission the campaign offices and also provide them with all the logistics support required.

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HOW ATIKU ABUBAKAR ABANDONED ME AFTER I LOST ELECTION IN 2019

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Governor Bello Matawalle narrated memory lane how the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar abandoned him after he lost election.

The Governor who stated this while receiving PDP Transformation Ambassadors at the APC Zonal Headquarters in Kaduna insisted that, PDP is not a party to relied on considering how it abandoned those that suffered in making the party what it is.

I have been in the PDP for long and I will be in better position to tell those in the party how bad the PDP has been treating us despite the investment we have made to make it a great party.

 

“I have joined the PDP in 2011, and I used my personal resources to build the party to greatness. When former Governor Mamuda convinced me to defect to PDP same party abandoned him to his fate and  and made him carelessly lost election despite having PDP at the control of the center”.

“I fought the former Governor Yarima who came from my zone and I won my seat of the Federal House of Reps without any support from my party”.

“In the year 2019 I contested for the post of Governor of Zamfara under the PDP and nobody from my party including Atiku Abubakar supported me with a dime and even after we lost election, I used my money to pursue the defeat of the PDP in court and I paid all the cost of litigation from Governorship to state assembly without the support of anybody in the party not even the Presidential candidate”.

“It will surprise you to note that, at a point, Atiku Abubakar stopped picking my calls because I have lost election, and he moved to Dubai and abandoned us to our fate”.

“After the Supreme Court announced my emergence as the substantive Governor of Zamfara Atiku called to congratulate me and promised to send his ADC to support me to manage the logistic aspect of the swearing in ceremony and to date, I have not seen the ADC”.

He cautioned the Nigerian youth not to trust PDP because it has never for once, fulfilled the wishes of the people, and instead he urged them to join the APC for a sustainable transformational drive of Nigeria.

He noted that Nigerian politics shall be driven by the youth because they have the potential of building a strong political alliance with the APC.

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