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Solid minerals sector ‘new oil’ for Nigeria economy — AA Zaura



A business mogul and philanthropist, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, popularly known as AA Zaura, says Nigeria’s solid mineral sector is a robust alternative to crude oil for its economic growth and development.

He stated this in an interview with our reporter on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, as Nigeria grapples with economic challenges and seeks to diversify its revenue mainstay, its rich solid minerals sector is a veritable alternative, if well harnessed.

The Kano State-born politician said that if the Federal Government was serious in saving Nigeria from its present economic woes, the solid mineral was a goldmine and should be explored.

”The only problem we have in Nigeria is that we fail or refuse to understand that we have a lot of resources, not only oil.

“Since oil has been our main source of income, we tend not to focus, and the government tends not to give attention to these solid mineral resources.

“We are solely dependent on oil, but there are lots of resources that can equally boost our economy, and the solid minerals sector is the new oil that can generate huge revenue for the country.

“For instance, if you take gold, how much is a gram of gold? You can never compare a gram of gold to a barrel of oil.

“The gold is definitely higher, which means if we can shift our focus to mineral resources just as we do with oil, the country will be better for it.

“Adequate attention needs to be focused on mineral deposits in Zamfara, Niger, and other states, where we have a large deposit of gold, which means more income will be generated,” he said.

Zaura, however, urged that insecurity, especially most places where these solid minerals are located,  has to be tackled for the  if the nation wants to benefit for the sector.

He added that the Federal Government must also demonstrate strong political will to address the menace of illegal mining, which has hitherto  stopped the sector from contributing meaningfully to the nation’s revenue.

According to him, a secured and enabling environment will attract investors attract investors into the sector, especially to communities were such resources abound.

“These are areas that are full of potentials, let me tell you, in those days, you can go in there and mine, even if you are alone, nobody will attack you.

“If government is to derive revenue from those resources, it has to take security seriously in order to protect the people and their investments, and to attract more investors to come into mining, ” he said.

He lauded the Tinubu-led administration for showing commitment to revamping the sector in line with its campaign promises.

“I can see that the current administration of President Bola Tinubu is giving more attention to the area of mineral resources, and needed support is now being given to the Ministry of Solid Minerals.

“I think something positive will happen to the sector, and if the government will focus more on it, I can tell you that the opportunities and revenue it will bring will be amazing,” he said.

Joshua Olomu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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