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Zamfara government denies gold mining partnership with CBN

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Zamfara State government has denied claims that the Central Bank of Nigeria is trading in gold with it

The denial was made by the Special Adviser to Governor Bello Matawalle on Media, Alhaji Zailani Baffa, while reacting to a lawyer, Mr Joseph Onu Silas, who had reportedly said the Central Bank of Nigeria was trading in gold with Zamfara State government.

In a statement issued to deny the allegation which was made available to journalists, Baffa said, “The attention of the Zamfara State Government has been drawn to a shocking and disappointing reaction in the media where a known lawyer displayed ignorance of law regarding the recent revelation made by Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) over mining in the state.

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“The lawyer, Mr Joseph Onu Silas, has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria of violating its constitutional boundaries to trade in gold with the Zamfara State Government. He further accused the state government of claiming to own the gold deposits in the state.”

According to him, there was no trade agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria, hence, the lawyer made spurious and unsubstantiated allegation.

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Making clarification on what the CBN was doing, he said: “The fact is that the CBN, just like in agriculture, is willing to invest in mining, as part of its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme whereby the apex bank will invest an amount for the state government to supply it with the gold as proceeds of the investment.

“This is aimed at boosting the mining sector in the country which is within the provisions of the scheme.”

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“The state government is not directly mining the gold by itself”.

“It will rather purchase the gold from the mining companies registered by the Federal Government in the state.

“All Nigerians are aware that the Federal Government is in the process of re-registering qualified companies allowed to mine mineral resources in the state on its behalf, just as obtains in the oil sector, which Mr Silas mentioned.”

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