* Says ‘Kogi Govt willing to participate in FG’s Gold Purchase Scheme, PAGMI’
The Executive Chairman, Kogi State Mineral Resources Development Agency (KGMRDA), Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has called on states across the country to cooperate with the Federal Government for the progress of initiatives that aim to develop solid mineral resources in Nigeria, saying that it will safeguard the economy from post Covid-19 recession.
Hajiya Suleiman, who is also Chairman, Mineral Resources Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Kogi State Chapter, explained that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello will leave no stone unturned in the development of the solid minerals sector in the state, adding that the establishment of the Ministry of Solid Minerals in the state will no doubt lead to the realization of economic development while averting post Covid-19 recession.
“Kogi State will continue to execute investment friendly policies in mining as a way of strategically solid minerals development with a view to safeguarding the economy from post Covid-19 recession,” she said.
Discussing the mining investment opportunities in Kogi State, the Executive Chairman said: “Thanks to Governor Yahaya Bello who has exercised diligent leadership and foresight in his creation of the state Ministry of Solid Minerals, Kogi is primed and ready for investment and economic opportunities when the world finally opens up.” she said, adding that the administration – using the instrumentality of the Ministry as well as her Agency, is committed to welcoming mining investors across the country and indeed the world to explore the mineral resources of the state, a move which she says will favourably boost the Nigerian economy.
The Executive Chairman commended the Yahaya Bello-led administration for taking pro-active steps to address the spread of corona virus through widespread sensitization on taking necessary precautions, ensuring diligent checks of persons within and around state borders as well as the development of a Covid-19 App – and easily downloadable app which enables quick self diagnosis, data collation, as well as emergency numbers to reach in all regions. she noted that the Governor has remained committed to safeguarding the lives of the citizens of Kogi State.
Speaking further, Hajiya Suleiman stated that the State Government is working on a template that will ensure the rapid development of mineral resources in the state, and commended the Federal Government for initiatives being put in place to achieve national economic boom, stating that the Gold Purchase Scheme of the Federal Government will do much to advance the country’s GDP.
“The State Government will take advantage of strategic fiscal initiatives in the solid minerals sector that will be instrumental to the development of a buoyant economy,” she said, adding that Kogi State aims to participate in the Gold Purchase Scheme of the Federal Government, otherwise known as Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI).
“We believe that by wholly keying into this initiative, the gains realized will deter the realization of a post Covid-19 recession on a national scale,” she said.
While assuring prospective investors of the availability of mineral resources in Kogi State, the MIREMCO Boss explained that “Geological surveys carried out by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency shows that Kogi State has over twenty known major solid minerals in commercial quantities distributed across the 21 LGAs of the state,” adding that the minerals offer considerable attraction for investors in mining.
“We are open for exploration and exploitation in the interest of job creation and National economic development, and in line with the extant laws governing mineral exploration in the country,” she said.
Speaking further, she said: “Mineral deposits of economic significance that occur in two geologic segments include gold, beryl, cassiterite, clay, coal, columbite, feldspar, fire clay and garnet. Others are granite, iron ore, kaolin, magnetite, marble, mica, muscovite, silica sand, quartz, talc, tantalite and tourmaline.”
According to her, “Kogi State hosts the largest iron and steel industry in Nigeria – Ajaokuta Steel Company,” adding that Dangote Cement Industry is also in Kogi State because the state has raw material needed for large scale cement production.
She therefore assured investors of lucrative investment opportunities in the state, stating that investment friendly policies of the Yahaya Bello administration strengthens the security of investments in the state.
Discussing some of the support that investors are sure to receive from the Kogi State government through the State Ministry of Solid Minerals as well as Mineral Resources Development Agency, the Executive Chairman said: “Provided that prospective investors obtain their mining licenses from the Federal Government through the Mining Cadastre Office as required by law, the government of Kogi State will give such credible investors all support necessary to the success of their investments,” stating that the State Government has zero tolerance for illegal mining activities, and will not condone it.
“Mining is on the exclusive legislative list, but we can be facilitators in situations where a licensed investor has difficulties of operating in a designated community.
“For example, if a licensed investor needs us to negotiate peace with host communities in the interest of peace and harmony, we will gladly do that as that is the mandate of MIREMCO as well as the duty of the Government to protect lives and property,” she said, stating that licensed investors are encouraged to approach government if they have such challenges.” She emphasized the need for investors to avoid confrontation and rancour with host communities.
“If an operator-investor wants to execute infrastructural projects like roads and needs authorization, the state will gladly give its consent.
“We can also guide mining investors on the most needed CSR projects or activities and advise them accordingly,” she said, stating that Governor Yahaya Bello has put in place policy measures that aims at guaranteeing investment-friendly atmosphere in the state.
The Executive Chairman commended the Federal Government on the digitalization of the Mining Cadastre Office and strengthening of other agencies in the mining sector said the realization of the economic diversification agenda of the Buhari administration will be attained. She pledged the readiness of the government of Yahaya Bello to play its expected role by creating investment friendly atmosphere in Kogi state.