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Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) - Politics (8) - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) (12191 Views)

The Moderator(s) On Politics Section Are So Lazy / Moderator(s) Why Did You Lock This Thread...https://www.nairaland.com/1363216/b ? / Moderator/s In Chief: Operation Nigeria Makeover (2) (3) (4)

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Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:17pm On Dec 28, 2009
Bringing it to your doorsteps how did Awolowo run the former western region the way he did?

Why now? I would be polite enough to answer. He ran it on raw materials and resources that were in demand then. As a result of significant technological advances and the other providers you cannot run an economy on cocoa and such nowadays.

I am talking of real development. The Western region+East+North were in no way developed or well-run then. If you call subsitence living development then  shocked.  IMO nigeria was underdeveloped then regardless. Infact we look more modern and prosperous now than in the dark ages.

You need to have something the west needs now before you can grow quickly. Or at least something your neighbors or possible trading partners might need.

On the issue of highly educated class please do not tell me that nigeria does not have highly educated people.The problem is when nigeria's best brains are not residing or want to reside in the country.

Nigeria lacks a lot education wise. Its something we are totally ignorant of but the education levels in Nigeria are abysmal in all regions. A small number of "highly-educated" cannot account for the significant number of uneducated people
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:22pm On Dec 28, 2009
Sefago,

There is oil in Igboland, so if there is a link with oil money, it is not misplaced. So is Ondo too. The point is that most (but not all) of the money that comes from oil does not benefit Nkechi or Okoro in Iboland due to corruption by the leaders (as is also the case elasewhere in Nigeria). These people have to work for VIRTUALLY every development that comes to their communities. I contributed money for the purchase of transformers and eventually electrification of my community.

I leave you with one example. Can you find this in other parts of Nigeria? May be, may be not.

Igbo-Ukwu To Spend N1bn On Projects

•As Community Celebrates Odunke ’09

By Okey Maduforo, Correspondent, Awka





Igbo-Ukwu community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State is to embark on developmental projects worth N1 billion.

This is in a bid to improve socio-economic development in the area and also attract investors to the community.

According to President General of Igbo-Ukwu Development Union (IDU), Chief Bob Ezeife, and Publicity Secretary of the union, Chief Pius Admuo, who spoke with reporters in Awka, “The launching for the project is part of activities marking the celebration of Odunke festival 2009 and this occasion would be the mass return for our brothers and sisters outside the state and beyond.”

He explained that the festival is not a pagan or fetish tradition but a festival that seeks to showcase the cultural heritage of Igbo-Ukwu people and also serve as teacher to the younger generation of Igbo-Ukwu people.

On projects that would be embarked upon, he said: “We also need to embark on road construction from the market through the other end of the market to ease traffic.  

“We need modern abattoirs to minimize infection from the meat that our people sell. Also we need a community library for primary and post primary school children and rehabilitate some other roads in the town to attract development.”

On the basic social amenities in Igbo-Ukwu town the President General Ezeife said, “We have a total of 10 health centres in our town, which include the Apex Medical Centre, Niger Optical Services, Ifite Health Centre owned by state government as well as St. Raphael Catholic Maternity and the Anglican Maternity among others.”
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by MandingoII(m): 7:23pm On Dec 28, 2009
Welcome back Richyblack.


Yeah and git rid of that nuiasance kosovo
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:23pm On Dec 28, 2009
I have in the past posted a link to show that every region of Nigeria has a lot to offer. That was data from Raw Material Research and Developmet Council (RMRDC). However, the last time I checked, the website had some problem (typical anything Nigerian) and that data was no longer available. If I recall, Beef also posted that link sometime after.

For example, as we speak, precious stones are being mined in Oyo state with no obvious remittances to the FGN, whereas oil from other states are shared with Oyo. Same goes for gold in the North. So, Mr Sefago, you appear to be a COMPLETE neophyte in Nigeria's socio-economic matters. That is much obvious with your tortous (sp) arguments.

How much revenue can these supposed raw materials generate. I need to see a fiscal sheet of the possible financial outcomes that could result from these natural resources. Moreover, if Nigeria has significant amount of gold deposit and such why is it that no major mining company has taken opportunity of this (you know oyibo people well)
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by Onlytruth(m): 7:23pm On Dec 28, 2009
It is instructive that South Africa is powered by the skills of the White minority (about 10% of the population).
The problem with Nigeria is that the educated and resourceful Nigerians which are far more than in South Africa are muzzled and forced out of leadership and management of the country, and methinks that tribalism is the reason.
Nigeria is led  by a half-baked and mediocre section of the country and that is a fact.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:25pm On Dec 28, 2009
t is instructive that South Africa is powered by the skills of the White minority (about 10% of the population).
The problem with Nigeria is that the educated and resourceful Nigerians which are far more than in South Africa are muzzled and forced out of leadership and management of the country, and methinks that tribalism is the reason.
Nigeria is led by a half-baked and mediocre section of the country and that is a fact.

Nigeria is one of the most underdeveloped countries educationally. Check your facts. South Africa whips us hands down
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:29pm On Dec 28, 2009
How much revenue can these supposed raw materials generate. I need to see a fiscal sheet of the possible financial outcomes that could result from these natural resources. Moreover, if Nigeria has significant amount of gold deposit and such why is it that no major mining company has taken opportunity of this (you know oyibo people well)

Again you miss the point. Many of these resources are only partially exploited, while the vast reserves are still untouched. Those who illegally mine gold in the North already have Oyibo market. They only have to cross the ever-porous northern boarders and bang, the French guys in Chad, Niger, Northern Benin and Cameroon are waiting to pick up the good, and probably give them peanuts. So it is the ABSOLUTE incompetence of our so-called leaders, and not that one region cannot produce anything that plays out here.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by Onlytruth(m): 7:30pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Nigeria is one of the most underdeveloped countries educationally. Check your facts. South Africa whips us hands down

Ha ol'boy you don come again. grin
If I throw in Nigerians abroad, the South Africans are no match. You may not believe it but it is true. Moreover, the whites in South Africa are only about 5 million. Compare that to Nigerians. We have almost that number of Nigerians with high level of education. And mind you that not all white South Africans are educated.
Do you really believe your post above? Shows me how much you know about Nigeria.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by kosovo(m): 7:32pm On Dec 28, 2009
MandingoII:


Yeah and git rid of that nuiasance kosovo
Why are you so Insecure? cheesy
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:34pm On Dec 28, 2009
Ha ol'boy you don come again. Grin
If I throw in Nigerians abroad, the South Africans are no match. You may not believe it but it is true. Moreover, the whites in South Africa are only about 5 million. Compare that to Nigerians. We have almost that number of Nigerians with high level of education. And mind you that not all white South Africans are educated.
Do you really believe your post above? Shows me how much you know about Nigeria.

Ok, I will have to withdraw my statement for other reasons. One being Nigeria's population and second the Northern part of Nigeria skewing literacy statistics.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:36pm On Dec 28, 2009
Again you miss the point. Many of these resources are only partially exploited, while the vast reserves are still untouched. Those who illegally mine gold in the North already have Oyibo market. They only have to cross the ever-porous northern boarders and bang, the French guys in Chad, Niger, Northern Benin and Cameroon are waiting to pick up the good, and probably give them peanuts. So it is the ABSOLUTE incompetence of our so-called leaders, and not that one region cannot produce anything that plays out here.

Quite speculative. I can bet that these resources are not enough, but thanks for the info.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:37pm On Dec 28, 2009
Sefago,

The site is up and running again. There you have it.
http://rmrdc.gov.ng/rmdcstates/Dist_of_RawMat1.htm
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:39pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Quite speculative. I can bet that these resources are not enough, but thanks for the info.

No. There was actually a report about the illegal mining and cross boarder trading in Gold recently. I only have to search for it. If there is resource control, the gold from Zamfara (plus other resources) will be enough for Zamfara people. It is the everyone-shares-from-oil mentality that allows you this kind of stupid thinking.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by asha80(m): 7:40pm On Dec 28, 2009
If i am not mistaking ondo state has Bitumen in commercial quantities and also  highly educated people of ondo origin.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:42pm On Dec 28, 2009
As I expected no specific quantification. Its all good to list supposed resources, but how economically feasible are these resources?
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by kosovo(m): 7:43pm On Dec 28, 2009
Different kinds of issues have been discussed in this thread! thus permanently driving the rationale behind the creation of the Thread into Oblivion.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:44pm On Dec 28, 2009
If i am not mistaking ondo state has Bitumen in commercial quantities and also  highly educated people of ondo origin.

hmm so who will buy this bitumen, when larger supplies can be found in India and Bangladesh hence driving the price down for these so-called resources?
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:45pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

As I expected no specific quantification. Its all good to list supposed resources, but how economically feasible are these resources?



It is all work in progress, I believe, plus our (leaders) penchant to be incompetent. Otherwise quantification is not so difficult.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:47pm On Dec 28, 2009
The bitumen in Ondo, Ogun, Edo and Delta is massive and has actually been quantified by one Canadian Firm. Bitumen is on top of the list of items that the feds wanna use to drive a poly-economy.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:47pm On Dec 28, 2009
Different kinds of issues have been discussed in this thread! thus permanently driving the rationale behind the creation of the Thread into Oblivion.

Back to topic- so as you guys noticed even Onitsha boys like mekusxx can carry civil conversations for more than 5 minutes. So what is the root  of all this anger on Nairaland? Agreed things might not work out but we could discuss everything without getting angry at each other.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 7:50pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Back to topic- so as you guys noticed even Onitsha boys like mekusxx can carry civil conversations for more than 5 minutes. So what is the root of all this anger on Nairaland? Agreed things might not work out but we could discuss everything without getting angry at each other.

Keep deceiving yourself. You are trailing behind me (forget NL one second) and you know it (deep in your heart)
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by Onlytruth(m): 7:53pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Back to topic- so as you guys noticed even Onitsha boys like mekusxx can carry civil conversations for more than 5 minutes. So what is the root  of all this anger on Nairaland? Agreed things might not work out but we could discuss everything without getting angry at each other.

Agreed, including secession which should not be moved to the tribalism and racism section. All options should be on this table of political section of nairaland. If I want to post a really racist or tribal point, I know where that section is.
Bottomline is that moderation should be at instances where no nexus exist between the politics of the country and the posted comment.

The anger shows the emotion which accompany the point. They are really inseparable. I wish someone will be furious at me, but give me 24 hours of electricity in Nigeria.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by Beaf: 7:54pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Back to topic- so as you guys noticed even Onitsha boys like mekusxx can carry civil conversations for more than 5 minutes. So what is the root  of all this anger on Nairaland? Agreed things might not work out but we could discuss everything without getting angry at each other.

An important catalyst called Tpia is missing. . . grin
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by asha80(m): 7:58pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

hmm so who will buy this bitumen, when larger supplies can be found in India and Bangladesh hence driving the price down for these so-called resources?

Using your logic nigeria is ranked as the seventh largest producer of oil in which you insist can only be the economic driving force in nigeria.Only God knows what would have been the price of oil if nigeria is the largest supplier of that.

Palm oil was the one of the driving economic forces of the then eastern regional economy at a time that that region was regarded as the fastes growing economy in the world.When crude was discovered we went to sleep and malaysians came and took seedlings from there to their own country andused the to become the largest exporter of palm oil'

What am trying to say?Relevant authorities should get to work and start on the production and exploration of the resource and not wait till a time the resource becomes a bit irrelevant to the world just because we might not be the largest producer of the resource.Make hay while the sun shines and make adequate use of the money from the resource.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:58pm On Dec 28, 2009
Hmm not really NL is a joke to me just like  becomrich. In real life I am a perfect gentleman who wants the best for everyone even my hausa brethren who are going to make my butt crack checked everytime I go into the airport. However, I would never have been pushed into being so rude if i did not find so many rude people.

I have frequented "oyibo" forums and I have never engaged in a fight with everyone. Coming to Nairaland was one of the biggest mistake of my life. I got the opportunity to meet the worst nigeria could offer and I joined them 100% grin.

No shaking and no regrets- I have on NL for a long time and this is just a phase.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 7:59pm On Dec 28, 2009
Palm oil was the one of the driving economic forces of the then eastern regional economy at a time that that region was regarded as the fastes growing economy in the world

grin grin grin. Nothing beats African arrogance
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 8:00pm On Dec 28, 2009
This is for Western Nigeria. Searching for theone for Northern Nigeria
Nigeria: Illegal gold mining ruins rural environment


Lagos - Disused pits dug by illegal gold miners dot the expanse of land which once served as farmland. Before the gold rush, the villagers in this sprawling farming community, called Igun, used to produce cash crops like cocoa, coffee and cola nuts.

By Inter Press Service, By Toye Olori | 09.24.2004


When IPS visited the village in western Nigeria, the illegal gold panners had already left and had moved on to other locations in search of the precious gem.

‘’As you can see, the pits have been deserted after the miners had finished collecting the gold here. They have moved further to new areas leaving the lucrative farming business in the village in shambles,’’ says Kola Olabisi, acting as IPS guide.

According to Olabisi, the illegal miners are mostly foreigners from neighbouring Niger and Chad.

Pointing to some abandoned rusty excavation equipment left behind by the state-owned Nigerian Gold Mining Company (NGMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian Mining Corporation, Olabisi explained: ‘’The activities of illegal miners became more pronounced in the last seven years when NGMC, folded up and abandoned its mining activities here. With its exit, the illegal miners took over and unleashed havoc on any land suspected to contain gold deposit.= 92’

For more than 12 years of its operation at the mines near Igun, the company dug up trenches which now form pools of undrinkable brackish water that constitute health hazards to both villagers and livestock.

The illegal miners followed in the company’s footsteps digging up trenches in search of gold, creating more pits.

While the illegal gold diggers make thousands of dollars through their business, the locals get peanuts. And they are continuously faced with the dangers of environmental degradation to their farmlands and other hazards resulting from the open pits.

‘’We are suffering. The illegal miners have dug up our farms, posing dangers to our lives. Our crops have been destroyed because of their activities. Whenever we tried to question them, they showed us papers (mining rights) which they claimed were obtained from government,’’ complains Olu Ibikunle, a farmer.

‘’Instead of being a blessing, the discovery of gold has become a curse to us. We no longer have enough good farming land, while our fresh waters are now polluted,’’ he says.

As a result, women and children now walk long distances in search of clean drinking water.

Part of the problem seems to be rooted in poverty. IPS has learnt that the illegal miners pay - or bribe - some unsuspecting poor farmers to allow them prospect for the gem on their land. A lucky miner, who hits some good quantity of gold, could become an instant Naira millionaire as an ounce of gold fetches as much as 40,000 naira (about 400 dollars) in the market.

Femi Adefila, a senior government
official in Oshogbo, the capital of Osun State, where Igun is located, told IPS: ‘’Because of the large deposit of gold in the area, the illegal miners have seized the opportunity to perform their illegal acts.’’

‘’We recently arrested three illegal miners. They told us they work for a businessman. But when we tried to get to the businessman, he bolted. The three men have been charged for economic sabotage,’’ Adefila said. Each of the men risks five years jail term on conviction.

Adamu Hassan, one of the apprehended men, said: ‘’I work for a big man. Our bosses are businessmen from both Nigeria and abroad. Most of us do this as a means of survival. We sometimes melt the gold and sell to goldsmiths in Oshogbo,’’ he said.

So far, local officials are powerless to stop the illegal miners. Osun State officials say mineral resources fall under the federal government in the capital Abuja, making it impossible for Nigeria’s 36 states to rein in the miners.

‘’We are helpless. It is a shame that some of those who are stealing our resources through illegal mining and constituting a nuisance to the people are not even Nigerians. But we can hardly do anything because of the policy of government which places natural resources in the exclusive list of the federal government,’’ complains one government official.

Section one and 221 of decree 34 of 1999 vested the ownership and control of all minerals, including the power to issue licenses, collect rents, fees, and royalties, in the federal government. This power is exercised through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, established to boost non-oil exports.

Since the creation of the ministry in 1995, officials say investors – both local and foreign - have shown interest in Nigeria’s gold deposits found almost throughout the Western and North-western regions.

Two weeks ago, Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi, while receiving the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency officials, expressed concern over the activities of illegal miners in his state. He urged the agency to assist the government in checking the menace.

There have also been reports of physical attacks on persons who tried to obstruct the activities of illegal miners. About two years ago, a traditional ruler in Osun state was attacked in his palace by hoodlums for daring to obstruct their activities.

In the tantalite-rich Kogi state, central Nigeria, investors were driven out of some fields by illegal miners who felt threatened.

Similar incidents of harassments, or ejection of investors, have also been reported in the northern states of Plateau, Nasarawa and Jigawa. In 2001, the Mining Association of Nigeria, led by Dabo Zang, urged the Nigerian government to do something about the illegal miners.

While government is losing revenue, and environments are being polluted, the illegal miners are smiling all the way to the bank. Odion Ugbesia, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, said last week that exploitation of tantalite alone in a village in Kwara state, central Nigeria, was fetching the miners an average of six million Naira (about 60,000 dollars) a week.

Ugbesia announced that government plans to put in place programmes for accelerated and orderly exploration and exploitation of the vast solid minerals to curtail the activities of illegal miners. His permanent secretary, Aboki Zhawa, said last that informal mining activities would be formalised to make them economically viable and environmentally friendly.

‘’Although the informal miners provide massive self-employment especially in the rural areas, their activities constituted environmental degradation due to abandoned pits, polluted rivers, high exposure of radio-active and hazardous minerals. Informal mining is an impediment to the orderly development of solid minerals sector in the country,’’ Zhawa said.

He said government would formalise mining by reviewing the current legislation with emphasis on consultation and interactive discussion with mining communities on mutual preservation of interests.

‘’Formalising the sector would yield revenue to government and provide sustainable self-employment for at least 500,000 people. Other benefits included minimising environmental degradation and social and health problems such as child labour,’’ he said.




Source: http://www.ips.org/
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by SEFAGO(m): 8:04pm On Dec 28, 2009
Agreed, including secession which should not be moved to the tribalism and racism section. All options should be on this table of political section of nairaland.

But secession is 100% likely to degenerate into a tribalism thread except if the people discussing are of the same ethnic group or from the same region. Usually you secede because you dont like people. Now to secede you have to present these people with the reasons you do not like them. This is not going to make them happy.
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 8:04pm On Dec 28, 2009
Solid Minerals: Illegal Mining; Massive Losses  
Sunday Trust magazine - Feature  
Written by Tadaferua Ujorha who was in Borgu, Ibadan and Zaria    
Saturday, 26 December 2009 22:56  
Nigeria’s solid minerals sector can positively turn around the economy, but it has been asleep for 40 years. In four decades the smuggling of stones has risen leading to a $20 billion annual loss, informal mining which attracts 500,000 persons yearly, has peaked, and the laws regulating the sector have been largely ignored or manipulated by individuals. After 40 years a little   awakening may just have started.

backgrounds


Nigeria’ solid minerals sector accounts for a mere 1 percent of the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But every state in the country has solid mineral deposits. Iron ore which can last a hundred years lies in Konkosso, Niger State. These deposits are said to surpass that of Ajaokuta in terms of quality. Not far from Borgu is a feldspar deposit which has been estimated to last 40 years before it is exhausted. Feldspar is used to make glass. The country is blessed with Tantalite, an element so critical to mobile phone technology. In Hayin Kanwa, a little neglected village near Zaria, a villager tells this reporter one afternoon, that he thinks there is Tantalite around the community. He knows what he is talking about because he has worked as a miner in the past. He presents a little Tantalite which he dug out at a mine somewhere in the country. He has now seen something similar in the locality. Tantalite may spring a surprise here, he seems to imply. Tourmaline is being mined in Olode, Oyo State, and it is much sought after internationally where it fetches a good price.It is used to produce jewellery.

Nigeria’s gold belt begins in the far north, descends into Borgu and spreads through parts of the country, forming a remarkable Crescent as it does.


a $20 billion loss

Chief Hussein Abubakar, Galadiman Akinyele, chief executive of AHMU international mining company, and a major player in solid minerals, tells this reporter in Ibadan, that the solid minerals sector can produce a handsome $20 billion annually, if the activity of smugglers is checked. His words ‘Due to illegal mining  and the illegal extraction of gemstones out of this country, Nigeria is losing more than $20 billion annually. I am calling on the federal government to constitute a very powerful taskforce on the issue of the exportation of gemstones out of this country.’ He would like the task force to be based at our seaports and international airports. The sum of $20 billion referred to above, represents projected revenue for just one of the 34 solid minerals present in different locations in Nigeria.This means that the total contributions of this underdeveloped segment to economy, would certainly be staggering when the industry is functioning at full capacity. Hussein Abubakar’s company works at thirty sites in Oyo State, and employs 20,000 persons. It is also involved in improving conditions in the host communities such as Komu. The lesson in that proper mining companies can improve conditions in host communities. Mrs Diezani Allison-Maduekwe, Minister of Solid Minerals, speaking recently says ‘Nigeria was at one time, the world’s largest exporter of Columbite and the world’s 6th largest producer of Cassiterite (Tin) Today we are a net importer of solid mineral materials for our industries.’ Recently, she announced a number of measures which are meant to woo investors to the sector. These include a three year tax holiday for new companies in the sector, import duty exemption on mining equipment, and the regularised repatriation of foreign capital.

Dambatta and Ibrahim of the Department of Geology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria writing in a joint paper argue ‘A properly developed Nigerian gemstone industry is capable of earning more foreign exchange than produce from the agricultural sector or other solid minerals. According to recent data… Nigeria’s rough (uncut) gemstones export is about $27 million, and is estimated to increase to $150 million by the year 2010. Interestingly, coal, if exported by Nigeria within the same period is expected to earn $31 million.’

Dambatta and Ibrahim explain ‘In the 1970s gemstones were classified as ‘controlled’ minerals. This was at a time when Thailand realised the economic potential of the gemstone industry and took steps towards deregulation. Today, Thailand‘s gemstone industry earns billions of dollars annually and employs millions of people. Nigeria has not gone beyond a peasant mining industry’.


gemstone markets

Galadiman Akinyele says that to raise standards and turn around the sector, the federal government should set up gemstone markets in parts of the country. According to him ‘If we have a gemstone market in this country, anybody who wishes to buy gemstones will go through that market. That’s how they will get all their royalties, and they will have data of what is happening and what is in production. Other markets such as gold, tin, tantalite can be set up where there is a deposit. There is no way a person can smuggle the mineral out of that area. The security agencies will be empowered to arrest, and the federal government will have data on the quantity of solid minerals that were moved from various sites’.


‘they are all over the country’

Ahidjo Bamanga, merchant and entrepreneur, also speaks on the West African presence in the solid minerals sector. His words ‘Other west Africans can easily come into Nigeria because of the ECOWAS Treaty which allows for free movement of people and goods. Mining first started in Ghana and Sierra Leone. It began in Nigeria in the early 80s. Those who exposed Nigerians to mining are the Senegalese, Ghanaians and Gambians. They are all over the country.’ Recent reports indicate that there are 10,000 illegal miners in Zamfara State. Many of them hail from neighbouring countries. There is a constant reference to Cotonou at most mining sites across the country. ‘Cotonou is just a route for the gold trade to France. There are lots of French citizens in Niamey. They buy gold coming out of Nigeria. Everyday, there are Nigerian merchants travelling to Niamey to sell gold to French citizens.’ On the amount Nigeria loses to smugglers of precious stones,he says ‘Nobody can really say how much  we  are losing. There are no statistics to rely on’. Dambatta tries to explain the presence of groups from other west African nations in the solid minerals sector.His words ‘The reasons why many persons from west African nations are active in the solid minerals sector of our economy, is due to the high level of poverty among our people, and lack of enforcement of our rules with regards to immigration, customs etc’.


from oil to stones

Ahidjo Bamanga believes that solid minerals can replace oil if properly harnessed, although some would disagree with him on this point. Dambatta thinks that the sector can produce substantial resources, rather than replace oil completely. Bamanga says that security is a big problem, scaring potential investors away from the sector.His words ‘Security is a big challenge. No one is sure of his life and property, not to talk of a foreigner who is coming. French nationals stop at Niamey, rather than travelling into Nigeria.’ He dissects the various parts of the sector in these words ‘Only 5 percent of those in the business of precious stones are doing well. Precious stones are good, only when the world economy is good. The rich and famous then purchase precious stones for their loved ones. Gold is my best choice if one doesn’t want to take a risk in the business.’ He adds quite instructively ‘If you have N20 million worth of precious stones, there is a possibility you will be hungry. But if it is gold, if you have 5 grams, there will be someone willing to pay. Today, 5 grams of gold cost twenty thousand naira’. Ya’u Mohammed Damisa is Danmasanin Borgu and comments on mineral resources in Borgu ‘I am sure even the feldspar here is wasting away. Government is not paying attention to it yet. The iron ore at Konkosso is more than what obtains at Ajaokuta. You will even see evidence of some mining there. It is illegal mining that is going on and not the type of mining that’s organised by government. Individuals are mining, selling to dealers. The dealers now refine the gold and sell out’.

Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director CISLAC, speaking on the neglect of the sector says ‘People have reduced the importance of solid minerals because of oil. Solid minerals may not yield the kind of quick money which petroleum does. Therefore they decided to ignore it and it remains underdeveloped. Another point is the absence of patriotic feelings among us. This is why we allow foreigners to take these resources through informal or illegal ways. If you go to Nasarawa and many other places, you will   see some foreigners engaged in illegal mining’.


Insufficient laws?

Some argue that the laws regulating the sector are not sufficent, while others say they are sufficient, stressing that these laws have not been enforced. Speaking on the mining law, Galadiman Akinyele says ‘With the new regulation now, anybody can hold minerals in this country because there is no issue of form K. So everybody is losing money. Anbody can carry minerals out of the country. The security agent at the airport cannot even recognise these minerals. They are just collaborating with the clearance agents and moving minerals out of this country’. He adds that there is no law in place to arrest a dealer in stones in the country. His words ‘There is no law to arrest a dealer in stones in this country, and the dealers capitalise on that. So if there is a law that you cannot hold gold until you have a licence to buy gold or to sell gold, then things wont be so bad. But there is no law for this purpose.’ Dambatta sheds some light on this matter, by saying ‘It s true that there is no law in place to arrest a dealer in stones, but it is not true either. People get licences to buy and sell precious stones. He may go and get stones from a place which his licence does not refer to. If he is caught he will now present the licence ‘claiming innocence’. So there is a defect in the law in this sense. It can easily be manipulated by the individual’. Ahidjo Bamanga adds that most laws are not obeyed in Nigeria, and that the solid minerals sector is simply a victim of this poor attitude to laws.


the goldmines of borgu

There are some 500,000 artisanal and small scale miners in the country today, doing a lot of manual work at the mines, and taking a large part of the unearthed stones to dealers in solid minerals in parts of the country today. A significant part of these stones find their way to Niamey in Niger Republic, as well as Cotonou in the Republic of Benin. Throughout West Africa, there are mining sites, and these mines also played a role in shaping the history of the area. The famous Mansa Musa of Mali readily comes to mind. On his way to Mecca in the fourteenth century, he took so much gold with him that it affected the economy of Egypt adversely. There is a solid ‘West African presence ‘at most mines in the country. Many of these labourers hope to strike gold while digging, and so they work at the mines, enduring the heat and danger. The pits sometimes cave in, burying the labourers as well as their dreams in the process.

The goldmines of Borgu are located in the village of Koro. Labourers are constantly digging at the pits looking for gold. Many of them are Hausa. Someone argues that mining began in the north. He adds that the Hausa have the necessary patience and stoic constitution, which the search for solid minerals requires. He also says that most of the labourers have highly perceptive natures, so they can easily identify where a good deposit of solid minerals exists. The largest pit seems to be some 25 feet deep. It is awesome. Another one nearby is 8 feet deep. It intimidates for the men have been digging through solid rock. Despite the depth of the pit and the uneven sides, they quickly climb to the summit.

Sa’adu Mohammed Bio is the District Head of Koro.He tells Sunday Trust that people have been mining gold in Koro for the past twenty years ,and adds that the miners have a ‘local way’ of identifying solid minerals. His words ‘They have a local way of identifying solid minerals. Where they suspect there is a find, they begin digging. When they actually find gold, they wash the sand in water, then they identify the sand, because gold is heavier than sand. After digging a pit they get the stones, crush them, mill it and then wash’. He says that gold has brought great wealth to some of his people. His elder brother has sixteen cows, which he bought from proceeds of the gold trade. ‘Majority of the people here are involved in the gold mining business, and many use it to acquire western education. Gold is a blessing to the people here’. A mining company will soon move to Borgu to begin the proper mining of gold. The people are looking forward to this development. On this, Sa’adu Bio says ‘We are going to sit down and discuss with the management of the company, so that we have a symbiotic relationship between the company and our people. When the company first came, they met our community leaders, and promised to incorporate the people when it starts to mine gold.’

Musa Mohammed is Chairman, Gold Dealers Associaton in Borgu, and also Sarkin Hausawa. He has been twelve years in the gold trade. His words ‘When they bring the gold, we   measure it. Whatever it costs we now pay them’. He says that good times have come in the business as the price for gold has soared. According to him ‘Before we used to buy a gram of gold for N500, and gain just a hundred naira. Today, a gram costs N3,500. So this has changed our lives, and some of us have used the gain to invest in other businesses’. In the past he used to trade in cows. But the gold trade means that his circumstances have changed. Now he has sent his children to school. He has built a house in Koro and is able to look after himself. According to Musa Mohammed there are different categories of dealers in gold. ‘When I receive gold, I will melt it. After this, I will take it to my dealer who will measure it and pay me. Then he will take it out to sell’. Gold is usually found at three places, he says. These are river beds, the surface of the earth, or at the bottom of pits. He says that the dug pit is the most popular site for finding gold. He adds ‘Whenever they find gold there, there is likely to be more at the spot’.


life at the mines

Mahmuda Kabiru 38, has been involved in mining since 1984. He speaks on the challenge facing the average labourer at the mines. His words ‘Sometimes, I will send three months digging at a site, but wont discover any mineral. Then one has to go to a dealer to get a loan. In the past I used to go to Ilesa to mine gold. There in the mines we will be arrested by the police, and we will be detained for a period which can reach a week’. He also speaks on dangers in the pit itself. His words ‘While digging you can be injured and there is nobody to treat you. Sometimes, the labourers die when they sustain injuries. Again, if they dig deep, the upper part of the pit may collapse from the top, and it may kill a labourer’. When he goes to a mine, he makes friends with the miners at the site. When he does not have money to feed, these new friends will now take care of him. He says that he has worked at the mines at Ilesa, Kebbi, Ado Ekiti, Zamfara and Abeokuta. There is a lot of travelling in the miners trade, he says. When news of a find leaks, everbody now leaves for the new location to try his luck. But he says that the best gold in the country is found in both Borgu and Ilesa. He is happy that a proper mining company will soon be coming to Borgu to start mining gold.

Zakariya Yau has spent 18 years digging gold. To him a good miner is one who can easily identify a gold vein with rich deposits. He will be delighted if the new mining company coming to Borgu, will incorporate those, like him, who have been mining in the area for years. He says he and his fellow labourers use hammers, chisels, diggers and shovels while digging for gold. He hopes the company will change all of this, and teach them about new mining methods.


gold dealer in Borgu

Sunday Trust also came across information relating to a major dealer in gold in Borgu. According to the source who prefers anonymity ‘If gold is obtained, it is divided into three parts. This dealer will buy two parts. There is nobody like him in this business. He gets the gold and takes it to Cotonou where he sells it, and brings cars into Nigeria. Also some businessmen often go to buy goods from Cotonou. Instead of going with the money, they will give Alhaji the money. He will convert it to gold and take the gold to Cotonou. He will sell the gold at Cotonou’. Three attempts by this reporter to interview the gold dealer in Borgu never yielded fruit. He always claimed to be on a journey.


2 months digging a pit

Saidu Umar has spent twelve years as a miner.At a point he mined in Kwara State. Then he got to Borgu. It sometimes takes two months to dig a pit. Sometimes there is no money to feed with, he says. Then you have to go to a ‘dealer to get a kind of loan’. There is a lot of migration within the trade, he says. Right now some labourers have travelled up to Zamfara to join some miners there.


mai borgu speaks on gold

Mai Borgu Dr. H. Dantoro Kitoro III, while speaking on solid minerals in Borgu says ‘It’s on record that even the colonial masters knew that there are solid minerals in Borgu. Unfortunately, these deposits have not been explored. I remember some few years back some persons from Niger Republic started coming to New Bussa here, particularly at Koro village. It is presumed to have a very large deposit of gold… They have been doing the surface excavation’. According to him a Korean company will soon commence mining for gold in Koro village. He is enthusiastic that this will turn around the life of the communities in the neighbourhood .His words ‘I am happy to say that one of the key resource persons in the country, pointed at a company in a foreign country. The company came here, saw the deposits and went into action. Of course, you know that when this potential is explored, it will empower our people economically. It will put Borgu on the economic map of this country… We are going to go into mechanised mining, so that the risk involved in mining will be minimised’. He explained that the ordinary people will be dispossessed of their land when the company takes over mining activities, but he is sure the people will laugh last. Dambatta says that the popularity of gold owes to a number of factors. The first of these is the high price and volume ratio of the commodity. Next gold is used as a reserve in the banking industry to store wealth.Then there is its use as jewellery.


Konkosso: They are poor, but rich

This reporter had not spent up to one hour in Borgu before he heard of the community named Konkosso, which has immense iron ore deposits. These are deposits which can last a hundred years. Some say the   Konkosso deposit is of a higher quality than what obtains at Ajaokuta in Kogi State. Konkosso sits on top of the deposit. If people go into their houses and scratch the floor or walls, they rise with iron ore in their palms. It’s that easy at Konkosso. Mai Borgu speaks on two experts on minerals who visited Konkosso recently, to check out the iron ore deposits there. His words ‘I know of two experts who came in. One came from China, the other from South Korea. They went to Konkosso and discovered that the iron ore deposits there surpass those of Ajaokuta. They said it will take one hundred years for the deposit to be exhausted. The quality of the iron ore surpasses that of Ajaokuta, according to the provisional report we received. Of course, they are very keen on going to the site’. Malam Jibo, a civil engineer, comments on the Konkosso site. His words ‘We have someone in the ministry of mines and power. I brought a sample of iron ore which I picked in my house. When I gave it to him and he tested it, his result was 99 percent pure iron ore. In quantity it’s much more than what is available in Ajaokuta. In their research so far, they have never encountered an iron bed of such quantity as seen at Konkosso. With this find at Konkosso, we conclude that government would have to intervene for effective mining. The town is sitting on the iron ore deposits, and mining hasn’t commenced there yet’.

Engineer Jibo says that people are looking forward to the excavation of the iron ore, but he wonders what the side effects of mining will be, and asks whether the people will be involved in the discussions. He says ‘What are the side effects of mining? Will the people be part of those that will benefit from the exercise?’ Is the solid mineral sector springing back to life?
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by mekusxxx: 8:06pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

But secession is 100% likely to degenerate into a tribalism thread except if the people discussing are of the same ethnic group or from the same region. Usually you secede because you dont like people. Now to secede you have to present these people with the reasons you do not like them. This is not going to make them happy.

Ok. Probably the first reasonable argument you have made, that I know of grin grin grin grin
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by Onlytruth(m): 8:06pm On Dec 28, 2009
SEFAGO:

Hmm not really NL is a joke to me just like  becomrich. In real life I am a perfect gentleman who wants the best for everyone even my hausa brethren who are going to make my butt crack checked everytime I go into the airport. However, I would never have been pushed into being so rude if i did not find so many rude people.

I have frequented "oyibo" forums and I have never engaged in a fight with everyone. Coming to Nairaland was one of the biggest mistake of my life. I got the opportunity to meet the worst nigeria could offer and I joined them 100% grin.

No shaking and no regrets- I have on NL for a long time and this is just a phase.

I wish every Nigerian visits this site to learn about Nigeria. I used to wonder why things didn't work in Nigeria until I came here. Left to me, every Nigerian should visit this site. This site provided me with the education I needed to understand Nigeria very well. How can you regret that?
Re: Open Letter To Seun And Politics Section Moderator(s) by MandingoII(m): 8:10pm On Dec 28, 2009
Why are you so Insecure?


I DO NOT LIKE YOU!!!!
angry


insecurity has nothing to do with it. You are cheesy.

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