By Francis Sardauna
In a bid to avert overdependence on the oil sector, the Katsina State Government has identified 400 legal mining sites with 37 different types of mineral resources across the 34 local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Abdullahi Imam, revealed this to journalists on Monday during a ministerial briefing at the Government House in Katsina.
He said some of the mineral resources found across the 400 mining sites include gold, manganese, feldspars, kaolin, mica, tourmaline, galena, beryllium, asbestos, iron ore, aquamarine, copper, emerald, sapphire and chromite, amongst others.
Imam, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Hassan Anda, explained that the state government would explore revolving strategies to woo investors to the state in order to exploit the mineral resources.
The commissioner reiterated that the mining sector had significantly contributed to the revenue generation of the country, hence the need for its revitalization and diversification to stop overdependence on the oil sector.
“Therefore, it is in view of this that the Katsina State government under the leadership of Governor Aminu Bello Masari has given premium to the sector. The state is blessed with over 37 different types of mineral resources across the 34 local governments in the state.
“The mineral sector has the potential of generating millions of jobs for our teeming youths and contributing enormously to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of Katsina State Exploration and Mining Company (KEMCO), Alhaji Salisu Mamman, said government has incorporated artisanal miners into cooperative groups to enable them enjoy better pricing of their products.
He said the gesture will also enable them have access to funds from World Bank and other financial institutions that will enhance their businesses, adding that: “It is better to incorporate them into cooperative groups rather than driving them away from their businesses.”