From Maiharaji Altine Gusau
Governor Bello Matawall of Zamfara state has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up a 14-member National Taskforce Committee to draft a mining legal framework that would guide mining activities in the state and other parts of the country.
The committee which is under the Office of the National Security AdviserNSA was inaugurated yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja by the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) whose office will also lead the committee as Chairman.
The Governor acccording to a press release by the Director General Media Public Enlightenment and Communications to Government House Gusau, Malam Yusuf Idris noted that the development was going to be most beneficial to the Government and good people of the state.
Matawalle said, “It will be a pacesetter in the right direction at finding lasting solution to the activities of armed banditry, kidnapping and other heineous crimes being perpetrated in the state”.
The Governor said he has made several calls at different fora for positive practical and workable measures to be taken on mining activities in the state in particular as it is blessed with vast untapped natural endowments as well as in other parts of the country.
He said, “There is there the need for the Federal Government to Draft a mining legal framework in order to have control and guiding rules and regulations as against the crude ways many of the locals are put at life threatning risks with zero or very little benefits coming to them”.
The Governor expressed dismay on how big companies and their owners, (foreign and national) who are not indigenes of the state are syphoning these resources without direct or indirect benefit to the state or its people.
The Governor who noted with pleasure the inclusion of the representation of the state in the committee as a critical stakeholder, assured the Federal Government that the experienced contributions to be made by the state would strongly be advantageous to both the miners and the federal government in guiding mining activities in all parts of the nation.
The Governor was represented on the committee which had an express mandate to immediately screen ten (10) indigenous companies to mine in the state during the inauguration by the state’s Commissioner of Environment and Solid Mineral Development, Dr. Nura Isah Gusau.
The terms of reference of the committee include development of a framework for vetting of prospective miners who will undergo mining activities in Zamfara and other states in Nigeria.
Other terms of reference included conducting background checks and selection of prospective companies forwarded by the Ministry of Mines and Solid Mineral Development for mining in Zamfara and other states in Nigeria.
The committee would also be conducting any other task in relation to the assignment given.
The NSA pledged to support the committee to carry out the assignment as expected.
The NSA noted that some of the attendant security challenges which necessitated the Federal Government to ban illegal mining in Zamfara could be reduced to enable the state regain its socio-economic development.