Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has denied entering into a trade agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for the purchase of gold from the state.
Recall that a legal practitioner, Joseph Silas, had accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, of violating its constitutional boundaries to “trade” in gold with the state government.
Mr Silas had also accused Governor Matawalle of claiming to “own” the gold deposit in the state.
However, the governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, debunked what he described as the ‘ignorant display of law’ by the legal practitioner.
According to the statement, what the governor mean was that the CBN had only expressed its interest to invest in gold mining, just as it did on agriculture.
The statement read: “The fact is that the CBN, just like in Agriculture, is willing to invest in mining as part of an Anchor-Borrowers Scheme where the apex Bank will invest the said amount for the state government to supply it with the gold as the proceeds of the investment.
“This is aimed at boosting the mining sector in the country which is within the provisions of the scheme.
“Correspondingly, the state Government is not directly mining the gold for itself.
“It will rather purchase the gold from the Federal Government registered mining companies in the state.
“Surely, all Nigerians are aware that the Federal Government is in the process of re-registering qualified companies allowed to mine mineral resources in the state on its behalf, just as it is obtained in the oil sector which Mr Silas mentioned.
“It is, therefore, disheartening that educated Nigerians will react to issues of national importance in the media, dictated from the sentiments of their hearts rather than the facts digested from their brains.”
The state government, therefore, assured Nigerians that it would abide by the laws of the land in managing the mineral deposits in the state.