Home Business Nigeria: Omo-Agege Faults Zamfara Governor’s Sale of Gold to CBN

Nigeria: Omo-Agege Faults Zamfara Governor’s Sale of Gold to CBN

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The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, yesterday kicked against the recent sale of gold bar by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the governor has no right to sell the mineral resources that belong to the federal government.

Omo-Agege who spoke during Senate plenary, while contributing to the general debate on 2021 budget, wondered why a state governor will have the audacity to sell gold bar to the apex bank.

According to him, the gold found in any state belongs to the federal government, adding that the revenue generated from such mineral resources like gold are to be shared among all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said: “Not too long ago, we saw the Governor of Zamfara State come before the CBN to present a gold bar worth close to about N5billion. The gold bar was presented for sale to the CBN. Mr. President, our people are beginning to wonder who owns this gold that is being sold to the CBN.

“They don’t sell oil in any of the Niger Delta states. I am wondering why the governor of a state should be selling gold bar from Zamfara State to the CBN. There are two problems with that. We believe that whatever revenue that ought to come from that transaction belongs to the entire country and not to the state government. That is number one and we should actually look into that. That is an area we really need to develop. There is a lot of revenue that could come from there that will take the burden from these international borrowings.”

It will be recalled that Item 39 under the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) states that mines and minerals including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas are exclusively under the control of the federal government.

Also, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, which was passed into law on March 16, 2007, to repeal the Minerals and Mining Act, No. 34 of 1999 for the purposes of regulating the exploration and exploitation of solid materials in Nigeria vested the control of all properties and minerals in Nigeria in the state, and prohibits unauthorised exploration or exploitation of minerals.

The Act further stated that all lands in which minerals have been found in commercial quantities shall from the commencement of the Act be acquired by the federal government in accordance with the Land Use Act.