Mining In Nigeria, An Untapped Resource For Buhari Administration
Bagega, a village in Anka LGA of Zamfara state, is often associated with the story of the death of some children who were exposed to lead poison caused by unsafe mining activities by the locals within their community. But there is more to Bagega mining than meets the eyes.
Miners are optimistic about the potential the mining industry has to offer the country if adequate attention is paid to it. In a recent interview with RuralReporters, one of them said:
“I am a civil servant and a miner, controlling the mining procedure in order to enlighten the miners on how to get their hoes and dig the gold and to guide against any risk because there is risk involved in mining.
“We were exposed to ‘lead poison’ but our government has removed the lead in Bagega by doing remediation. We have a great problem with safer mining, in as much as we have receive lots of lectures on sand.
“We need the government to help us with machines that will enable us gain easy access to gold beneath the ground. We also need money to buy other mining materials and we will appreciate a loan because there are some equipment we need to buy that will yield more profit. For instance we need computers to enable us dictate where the gold is in the ground and machines to dig the ground as there are places we cannot dig except with the use of machines. We do not have the means to buy the required equipment because we are not financially buoyant.
“Government said we should open an account, they will send us funds. We are yet to receive anything from them. Now that we have a new government, we are appealing to the newly elects to please help us with the required equipment for safer mining.
“If our new government will provide all that is needed, which we know is possible, Bagega will become a small London,” Secretary of Bagega mining association, Mal. Abdulkadir.
Mining industry in Nigeria, if developed, has the capacity of contributing more than 0.3% to Nigeria’s GDP. Plagued by lack of funding, inadequate and ineffective policy implementation, illegal mining activities and a near total neglect of the sector by government and investment companies alike, the current state of underdevelopment in the industry has led to the importation of minerals such as salt, iron ore etc. that could be produced domestically. However, in a quest to sustain the industry, individuals like Mal Adbulkadir, still embark on exploration of mineral resources.