Abuja, Dec. 19, 2023: A Business mogul and humanitarian, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, popularly known as AA Zaura, has said that Nigeria’s solid mineral sector is a robust alternative to crude oil for its Economic growth and development.
He stated on Tuesday in Abuja that as Nigeria grapples with economic challenges and seeks to diversify its revenue mainstay , its rich solid minerals sector is a veritable alternative, if well harnessed.
The Kano State-born politician said that if the Federal Government was serious in saving Nigeria from its present economic woes, the solid mineral was a goldmine should be explored.
”The only problem we have in Nigeria is that, we fail or we refuse to understand that we have a lot of resources and not only oil.
“Since oil has been our main source of income, we tend not to focus the government tends not to give attention to these solid mineral resources.
“We are solely dependent on oil, but there are lots of resources can equally boost our economy, and the solid minerals sector is the new oil that can generate huge revenue for the country.
“For instance, if you take gold, how much is a gramme of gold? You can ever compare a gramme of gold to a barrel of oil.
“The gold is definitely higher, which means if we can shift our focus to mineral to resources just as we do with oil, the country will be better for it
“Adequate attention needs to we need to be focused on mineral deposits in Zamfara, Niger and other states where we have a large deposit of gold, that means more income will be generated, “ he said.
Zaura however urged that insecurity, especially most places where these solid minerals are located, has to be tackled for the if the nation wants to benefit for the sector.
He added that the Federal Government must also demonstrate strong political will to address the menace of illegal mining which has hitherto stopped the sector from contributing meaningfully to the nation’s revenue.
According to him, a secured and enabling environment will attract investors attract investors into the sector, especially to communities were such resources abound.
“These are areas that are full of potentials, let me tell you, in those days, you can go in there and mine, even if you are alone, nobody will attack you.
“If government is to derive revenue from those resources, it has to take security seriously in order to protect the people and their investments, and to attract more investors to come into mining, ” he said.
He however lauded the Tinubu-Led Federal Government for showing commitment towards revamping the sector in line with its campaign promises.
“I can see that the current administration of President Bola Tinubu is giving more attention to the area of mineral resources and needed support is now been given to the Ministry of Solid Minerals.
“I think something positive to the sector, and If government will focus more on it, I can tell you that the opportunities and revenue it will bring will be amazing,” he said.