Sokoto state Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has disclosed that the state has gold and hydrocarbon deposits.
Gov. Tambuwal stated this while receiving the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Okechukwu Samson Oga who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Sokoto on Thursday.
According to him, the state also have so many minerals to showcase and use to attract investors.
Expressing his administration’s commitment to support President Muhammadu drive to diversify the economy of the nation, the governor said the state government will support the policy drive of the apex government for the development of solid minerals, mines and steel as well as agriculture.
Tambuwal said 85% of the people in the state are into agriculture in one way or the other, while virtually all of the landmarks are arable, thus making the state capable of producing both subsistence and cash crops for food security and revenue generation respectively.
He said the state have been developing and benefitting from the proceeds of solid minerals exploitation in the past 50 years since the establishment of Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which is now BUA Cement.
On the state’s partnership with Office Chérifien des Phosphates, OCP Morocco, the governor said he has contacted the management which assured him that they have already signed the contract for the commencement of civil works in Sokoto.
The governor who explained that the delay in the take-off of the project was as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, said that the company have assured him that very soon they will be in Sokoto to flag-off the construction of its factory.
He said the project when completed will enhance the economy base of Sokoto, which has the highest deposit of phosphate, and Nigeria in general.
He also said the state government has employed the service of consultants to fast track the setting up mining industry in the state, adding that the process have gone far.
Earlier in his address, Mr Oga said they were in the state for sensitization on the potentials of solid minerals exploration and exploitation for economic development, stressing that harnessing the resources that abound in the sector will lay a sustenable foundation for the industrialization of the nation.
Mr Oga added that the collaboration of the federal, state, local government and community leaders is imperative for smooth mining operation.
He said the Ministry of Mines and Steel is already promoting the mineral potential of Sokoto state and various investors are willing to invest in the state.
He said the state government can enjoy the 13% derivation from the solid mineral revenue, adding that the more revenue generation there is, the more that would accrue to the state from the derivation from the federation account.
The minister solicited a stronger collaboration with the state government on its sensitization drive on the constitutional role of the federal government with respect to mining.