The Kebbi State Government is partnering with the Federal Government under the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) on formalization of Artisinal Miners in the State for Gold production with the support of Columbia University, New York, USA.
The Governor, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in a meeting with SMDF led by Hajia Fatima Shinkafi and Columbia University on March 21 in Abuja stated that his administration is supporting a pilot programme to organise & support miners to give them better technology and an available market. The pilot programmes approved by President Buhari will commence in Kebbi & Osun States.
The Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Team will aid the SMDF in fulfilling its objectives by developing a report that analyzes the challenges preventing formalization of Artisanal & Small Scale Mining (ASM) in Nigeria and suggests ways for the SMDF to incentivize formalization through a strategic use of its capital resources.
A world bank report puts the outflow of illegally mined gold leaving Nigeria at $500m a year. This represents a huge revenue loss for both State and Federal governments in addition to environmental degradation to farming communities and pollution of waterways for people and livestock.
Special focus will be placed on how the SMDF can work with other institutions in accordance with section 34 of the 2007 Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act to register formalize operators and how the SMDF can leverage its financial capital to provide funding and/or services to support the ASM value chain.
Governor Bagudu reiterated his administrations continued focus on creating jobs and support for the diversification of the economy which is a priority of the Buhari administration. It can be recalled that the Governor is an alumnus of Columbia University where he obtained his M.A in International Affairs.