Supports Senator Omo-Agege’s Position
The Urhobo Social Club, Lagos (USCL) has said the recent sale of bars made from gold by the Zamfara State Government to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for N5,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) is a violation of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007.
USCL, an Urhobo interest group, noted that the recent arrangement negates the Mineral and Mining Act which vested the ownership of all mineral resources in the country on the Federal Government.
The Urhobo famous group in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Dan Oghoyone, condemned the development, saying the action amounts to a slap on the people of the Niger Delta region.
USCL, while however, supporting the position of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senate Ovie Omo-Agege, lamented that with the action, Federal Government has legitimised illegal mining in Zamfara which ordinarily should under the FG.
Expressing surprise over the development, USCL, a foremost social-cultural club of prominent sons of Urhobo origin in Lagos, stressed that the people of the Niger Delta states have not been allowed to sell oil and gas resources in the region.
“USCL received with shock the recent sale of bars made from gold mined in Zamfara to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for N5b. The Zamfara State Government recently announced its establishment of a gold reserve and its agreement to sell N5,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) worth of locally mined Gold to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“USCL notes that the action of the CBN is a flagrant violation of Sections one and two of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007, which vests the federal government with ownership of all the mineral resources in Nigeria.
“USCL notes that the Niger Delta States do not sell the Crude Oil deposits found in their respective states to the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Federal Government. Rather, the oil is treated as a national wealth and revenue generated in relation thereto is utilized for the benefit of the entire nation.
“USCL is, therefore, at a loss why the Niger Delta oil is for all Nigerians, while Zamfara gold is for Zamfara State alone.
“USCL notes that hitherto, Zamfara gold was mined by illegal miners, whose trade has now been legitimised. Meanwhile, the Federal Government is yet to fulfil its promise to re-organise and legitimise the activities of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta”, the statement pointed out.
The statement, while giving credence to the position of the Deputy President of the Senate, an APC senator representing Delta Central, lamented that in spite of the resources from the Niger Delta, the region has nothing to show for the huge revenue derived from the area.
USCL posited that, “USCL fully identifies with the position of the Deputy President of the Senate and the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, H.E. Ovie Omo-Agege, on the sale of Zamfara gold to the CBN.
“USCL also supports Senator Omo-Agege’s call for more developmental projects for Delta State, in particular, and the Niger Delta, in general.
“USCL regrets that over five decades after oil was discovered in the Niger Delta and 100s of billions of dollars realised from sale of oil, the Niger Delta has very little to show for a region that has carried the whole of Nigeria for over five decades. Oil exploration has degraded the Niger Delta without commensurate development.
“USCL therefore calls on the government to take more urgent steps towards the development of the Niger Delta.
“USCL also adds its voice to the call by the Deputy President of the Senate and all well-meaning Niger Deltans for all the oil companies to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta.”