Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Commissioner of Solid Minerals, Alhaji Bello Goronyo, on Thursday said arrangements had been concluded for the establishment of a State Industrial Training Centre to train artisanal miners in the state.
Speaking at a press briefing at the NUJ Press Centre, Sokoto, he stated that the Centre would train unemployed youths and informal miners in the art of gold processing, polishing of gem stones and other mining-related small scale businesses.
According to him, the proposed Industrial Training Centre would be established before the end of the year.
“The present administration has intensified efforts to train and equip our artisanal miners to build their capacity for increased quality and quantity of mineral output from our mines.
“This is with the belief that enhanced quality of these products will guarantee market accessibility,”he said.
He said the ministry is collaborating with Development Finance Institutions such as Bank of Industries, NEXIM, Central Bank of Nigeria, among others with a view to securing special intervention funds for business expansion in mining industries.
Goronyo posited that with the decline of revenue generation from oil sales by over 50 percent,there has been a renewed vigour to revive the non-oil sector , which is critical for the sustainable economic development of the state.
He said it was in view of that, the state government is in the process of working out an off taker agreement with Dangote Group on the utilisation of phosphate potentials of the state.
The Commissioner stated that this would provide the revenue generation and employment opportunities for the youth in the state.
He said that Sokoto has a very high grade of phosphate when compared to other countries in the world.
“The grade of phosphate in Sokoto is 52 percent and is higher than that of the United States which is 28 percent , Morocco and other countries,”he explained.