By AWAYI KUJE
LAFIA- The Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaji Bola Tinubu, has promised to develop the country’s mining sector, if elected in 2023.
This, he said, was to create job opportunities, boost socio-economic activities and improve on the standard of living of Nigerians.
Tinubu made the pledge at a townhall meeting on Mining and Security in Lafia on Thursday.
The former Lagos State governor said he would prioritise the resuscitation of the nation’s economy through the development of the solid mineral sector, adding that the nation is richly blessed and can cater for itself.
“Solid minerals and mining will play key roles in our campaign toward prosperity and our economic offensive against poverty and underdevelopment.
“The solid minerals sector contributed less than 1 per cent to our GDP in 2020. We need to increase this amount every year.
“My administration will develop the solid minerals sector, establish policies that will encourage investment for growth in that sector,” said Tinubu.
He also said his administration would enact legislative reforms and forge strategic partnerships with private sector investors with requisite skills and proven capacity to support investment in the mining sector.
“We, the APC, shall continue to stand before the Nigerian people to discuss the real issues of the day and offer insight into the policy solutions we intend to deploy to solve them. In this, we remain the best and only hope for progressive good governance in Nigeria.
“Few nations are as well-endowed as Nigeria, given our industrious, energetic population and our vast inventory of land, water and natural resources.
” Our beloved nation has abundant, commercially viable solid mineral deposits such as coal, limestone, iron ore, bitumen, lead, zinc, gold and a variety of gemstones.
“It is the obligation of government to use these gifts wisely to benefit the nation and improve the living standards of the average Nigerian,” he said.
The presidential flagbearer stressed that: “We have the capacity, knowledge, intelligence to take this country to the promise land.
“I will eliminate poverty and I will break the shackle of poverty, we know how to do it. Iam a promise keeper.”
Tinubu appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule for giving him the opportunity to share his vision.
He solicited for votes from all and country to enable him become the president of the country.
The APC presidential candidate commended Gov. Abdullahi Sule for his efforts in developing the state and called for its sustenance.
Host Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State said Tinubu’s engagement with the mining community would also afford the opportunity to know the economic potentials of the state in mining and security.
The governor listed solid minerals in commercial quantity in the state, which include lead, gold, Barite, mable and iron.
“I thank Asiwaju Tinubu for visiting our states and our people have always wanted to see you to ask you questions and you are here to answer their questions,” Sule said.
On his part, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau and Director General, Tinubu/ Shettima Campaign Organisation, described the Lafia townhall meeting as another worthy engagement between the APC presidential candidate and critical stakeholders in the state.
He also said Nasarawa state is the home of huge solid mineral deposits that have remained untapped with attendant insecurity caused by illegal miners.
Lalong promised that Tinubu would squarely address issues bordering the mining sector during his tenure, if given the mandate.
“Tinubu is a man with untainted records of solving challenges. We are lucky he is ready to serve our country at this time,” he said.
The APC National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, however charged Tinubu to get ready to lead Nigeria to the promised land.
He re-echoed the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that all indicators and indications point to the fact that the APC presidential candidate is the next president of Nigeria.
Adamu said that the state was endowed with mining opportunities.
In his remarks, Sen. Tanko Al-Makura (APC-Nasarawa South) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Mines and Solid Minerals, called for unbundling of the mining sector to allow for more participation in the sector.
“I have sponsored a Bill on Nigeria Mineral Development Corporation, which has passed first and second readings in the Senate as the Bill, if passed, will boost the mining sector,” he said.
He also called on Nigerians to develop more interest in mining considering its importance to human and societal development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum had in attendance Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila; Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State; Prof. Babagana Zulum of Borno; former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; Emir of Lafia and Chairman of Nasarawa Council of Chiefs, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (rtd), among others. (NAN)