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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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ZAMFARA NUJ ELECT MAI ZARE, M.B UMAR AS NEW CHAIR & DEPUTY

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Members of Zamfara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) have elected their new Chairman, who is to steer the activities of the union.

Ibrahim Musa Maizare who was the former Chairman of the Zamfara State based newspaper chapel “The Legacy” was elected alongside Haliru Muhammad Umar from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) chapel as his Deputy.

The remaining seats of the state officers of the union were returned unopposed, except the office of the Treasurer.

The election of the new executives followed the expiration of the tenure of the current executives, led by the Publisher of the Analyzer Newspaper Mai Haraji Altine Salah.

Mai Zare who was immediately sworn into the office alongside other executives, thanked the members of the state council for having confidence in his leadership and assured that he is going to reposition things in the union for a sustainable change.

He promised to come up with innovation that will transform the union and reposition it to be more sound like before and called for continued cooperation from all the members of the union.

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I NEVER ASK GOV. BELLO MATAWALLE TO DASH ME A CAR.

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The Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara state Faruk Ahmad Shatiman Rijiya has challenged those in the APC to prove whether the embattled eighteen seater bus they were making noise over was personally donated to him by Governor Matawalle or for the office of the PDP Publicity of Secretary.

Shatima who declared this during a Press Conference in Gusau on Friday said, contrary to the noise making round the public, he has never, for once, begged Governor Matawalle to dash him a car instead, the Governor personally feels he wanted to donate the car to him because of the role he played during his electioneering campaigns in 2019.

“If they wanted the car to be returned as claimed, let them tell the world how the Governor donated out the car to me through late Ibrahim Mallaha of blessed memory. The Governor gave the car to late Mallaha for onward handing over to me as personal donation, and I am certain if they met the him, he will confirm this to them.

“I am not in politics for vehicle, asked those who were with us in 2019. I used my personal Peugeot (406) to move with the Governor throughout the campaign period. I was not paid even money for fuel and the Governor knew that, and may be in his wisdom that was why he decided to dash me a vehicle I did not beg for”.

On the new security measures taken by the Governor, Shatiman Rijiya said he is sure the measures are targeted at the supporters of the PDP and because election is approaching, noting that they have every reason to entertain fear.

If the measures are initiated to get the lives of the typical Zamfara citizen better and secured, PDP will welcome the idea but noted that, under the current situation, the party and its members are not confident enough with the Governor’s pronouncement.

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SHATIMAN RIJIYA TO GOV. BELLO MATAWALLE: STOP INSULTING PDP

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The Zamfara State Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Faruk Ahmad Shatiman Rijiya has called on Governor Bello Matawalle to desist from insulting PDP because it was the platform he used to become the Governor of Zamfara state in 2019.

Shatiman Rijiya who stated this during a Press Conference on Friday reminded Governor Bello Matawalle that, the certificate of return issued to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was bearing the name of the PDP not APC the political party he defected to.

He described as morally wrong for the Governor to be rendering insult on the party that produces him as a substantive Governor, noting that even the people who are very familiar with his political antecedent and how he emerged as the Governor of Zamfara would not be happy with him abusing his original political platform.

He added that, PDP will continue to watch things as they unfold in Zamfara and continue to raise alarm where right decisions are not taken in the overall interest of the people of the state

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