Mr Olailekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, says the ban on mining activities in Zamfara will only be lifted if security situation in the state improves.
He said this in Abuja Thursday during the maiden edition of the Ministry’s strategic virtual engagement with the 774 local government chairman and other key mining stakeholders.
The virtual conference has the theme, “Sustainable Mining in Nigeria: The critical Role of Local Governments for the Realisation of Economic Diversification Agenda Through the Mineral Sector’.
The minister said the ban was meant to address the insecurity situation in the state, adding that Zamfara is blessed with abundant gold.
“We have no power to lift the ban; only President Muhammadu Buhari has the power to lift the ban placed on mining activities in Zamfara,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with over 44 different mineral types occurring in commercial quantities in over 500 locations across the 36 States and FCT.
He said: “Imagine a scenario in which the mineral deposits in every local government council are fully harnessed and exploited.
“This will bring accompanying development to such communities as the domiciled mining companies will bring about stable electricity, good road infrastructure and security.” (NAN)