Governor Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State attributes security challenges to the unauthorized control of mineral resources in the state.
In a press briefing after a private meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja, Governor Bago emphasizes the importance of harnessing the state’s abundant mineral deposits for the benefit of the people.
Governor Bago reveals that efforts are underway to establish a collaborative relationship with security agencies to restore peace across all state regions. This initiative aims to revive the agricultural sector, which is crucial to the people’s livelihood.
During his visit to the Villa, Governor Bago expressed his commitment to President Tinubu’s success in office and extended congratulations for the successful election process in the National Assembly leadership.
He also highlights that the state’s Ministry of Mining will be actively involved in leveraging the mineral resources available in the state.
His words: “We are endowed as a state with a lot of mineral deposits and is not only related to the insecurity issues, most of the places where you see these banditry are places where you have lithium or gold. So a lot of these activities are kind of associated to why the banditry is springing up.
“However, yes, we will harness our mineral potential, we don’t intend to come to Abuja every month to collect FAAC or JACK or whatever you call it. As a State, we have to put all the things in order so that we can harness these potentials.
“Now the state also has an SPV.
The State Mining Corporation, where we’re hoping to have an MOU or synergy with other mining companies so that we can harness that potential, and I assure you the next one year; we will come out tops.
“If you’ll agree with me, Niger State has a lot of ungoverned spaces, and we are agrarian, and in our strength is agriculture. So, we intend to cultivate most of your ungoverned land.
“We have a lot of body of water across the state, we want to encourage our irrigation farming, and that is why we are collaborating with Mr. President to ensuring that the agric potential of Niger State is tapped very well.
“So, we will harness them.
However, in the interim, we were working with security agencies in making sure that we curb this menace, and by the grace of God, we will come out tops”.
Governor Bago reveals his government’s commitment to promoting women’s inclusion in the government of Niger State. He announces the issuance of an executive order that mandates the appointment of women as secretaries of local government councils. Additionally, he emphasizes the plan to go beyond the minimum 35% affirmative action to ensure even greater representation for women in government.
According to him: “First and foremost, we have issued an executive order to change all the secretaries of the local government councils to be female, that we’re going to implement in the next local government council, it is compulsory that at least all the vice chairmen of local government will come out as female, that is one.
“Secondly, I have just made five appointments, and I promise that the next one will be female. So you should be watching out for that. So we are not going to even stick to 35 percent; we will have 50-50 if needs arise”.
Speaking on the out-of-school-children menace, the governor said, “it is still associated with this insecurity, and we are bringing technology to learn. Thank God that COVID-19 meetings can be held, you know, virtually.
“So we will deploy lending facilities to areas that are mostly affected so that we can put students back into schools. So, I agree that a lot of these out of school children will be enrolled back to school”.