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A mining sector union of over six million mines workers – the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) has congratulated president Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the pools in the presidential elections held on Saturday.
It could be recalled that prior to the elections, the union had pledged unalloyed support for the election of president Muhammadu Buhari, saying that “the Buhari administration has been able to place the sector on a path of sustainable development,” adding that the president deserves a second term in order to ensure continuity and completion of ongoing mining sector projects.
National President of the Union, Comrade Hamza Muhammad gave the congratulatory message expressed confidence in the ability of the Buhari administration to “continue to give valuable direction to the sector in the bid to ensure that the solid minerals sector plays its role in the diversification of the economy.”
Comrade Hamza said: “The entire body of the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers under my leadership unanimously congratulate president Muhammadu Buhari on the success of his re-election bid,” adding that president Buhari’s re-election symbolises the commitment of the Nigerian people to enthroning responsible leadership.
The leader of the over six million mine workers said: “The Federal Government has been able to place the mining sector on the path of sustainable growth,” he said, adding that the mining sector is currently able to play its crucial role in the much desired diversification of the economy.
Hamza explained that several administrations paid lip service to the sector, but that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been able to live up to its expectations, adding that the union is optimistic that president Buhari will consolidate on the successes of the administration in its first tenure.
“We are confident that government will use the next four years to complete ongoing efforts across various axis of the sectors,” adding that government is sincere and can fulfil the promises that are not yet completely fulfilled.
He said: “It is well known that mining activities are currently contributing to the increase in the GDP of the country.”
“As a result of the successes already recorded and the additional efforts being made to complete the implementation of the Roadmap for Growth and Development of the Nigerian mining sector, we believe that the Buhari administration deserves the victory it got from Nigerians. He acknowledged that the mining sector is already overcoming hurdles.
“The economy is being diversified through implementation of effective policies in mining and agricultural sector, he added.
“We are confident that in the next four years, the Buhari administration would be able to consolidate on the gains of the ongoing tenure,” he said adding that if the commitment is sustained, the Nigerian mining sector will join the rank of mining sectors of developed countries.
“We wish to draw the attention of the Buhari administration to the need to fully restore the nation’s steel sector to productivity, if revitalized, Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Iron Ore Mining Company will play their crucial roles in jobs creation and national economic development.
He therefore called on the Buhari administration to do more than it has done to ensure the revitalization of the country’s steel sector.
While saying that the development of the steel sector is an area where the government must be commended for the efforts it is making, Hamza however noted that until Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) and the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe become fully operational, the union will not give government an overwhelming pass mark even “though we acknowledge the efforts of the administration to revitalize the industries,” he added.
In a related development, Comrade Hamza Muhammad congratulated Senator Muhammad Sabo Nakudu and the former Speaker of Jigawa State House of Assembly, Yusuf Hassan Kila on their return to the Senate and Federal House of Representatives to represent Jigawa Central Senatorial District and Gwaram Federal Constituency, respectively. The union leader advised the legislators to live to the expectation of the electorates, adding that they must prioritize the development of their constituencies.
While commending the Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led Nigerian Labour Congress for the enviable role it has played in the pursuit of workers welfare, he pledged the commitment of the union to work with the NLC saying: “The Nigerian Union of Mines Workers will continue to join forces with the NLC to ensure that the interest of the masses are protected.”
He called on the government to revisit the privatization of National Power Holding Company which used to be National Electric power Authority, saying that privatization of the former agency is not in the best interest of national development.