Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed that a local government in the state, Birnin Gwari local government, has more gold deposits than the entire Republic of South Africa.
El-Rufai, who made this disclosure on Wednesday at the opening of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Forum, said the state can rake in as much as N40 billion from solid minerals.
According to him, “On solid minerals, you’ve seen the presentation, the minerals we have in Kaduna, but they missed out a very important mineral: gold.
“We’ve just confirmed that Kaduna state, indeed Birnin Gwari local government alone, has more gold than South Africa. This is proven, this is verifiable; we have all the data and we are collaborating with the federal ministry of solid mineral.”
The Governor, while revealing that investment in gold mining would also focus on the local miners and help them improve and make money, stated that in order “To ensure that, we bring international companies that would invest billions of naira in Birnin Gwari, to exploit our gold and export it, so that Kaduna state and Nigeria gets the benefits.
“But more than that, these companies, would also take the local miners, and formalise them and train them, so that they would all continue to make money.
“This is the model we are pursuing and we think about 40 billion would be attracted in solid minerals,” he added.
The Governor declared that the state attained a world record by being able to implement the Treasury Single Account, TSA, in less than two months, adding that “Essentially, we moved from 470 government accounts, to one account. 124 MDAs complied, and as at the 31st of August, we had nearly 25 billion in our TSA, which was a sort of record.”
El-Rufai disclosed that his team was leveraging on its agricultural prowess as the state with the best ginger in the world, to provide Kaduna farmers with interest free loans.
Hear him, “We have put in our budget, our intent to borrow N2.1 billion from the central bank for the rice anchor programme. The anchor borrowing programme enables the state government to access funds from the central bank at one percent interest.
“The state government has decided that our farmers would get these monies interest free. So we have put in the budget, the interest component of the anchor borrowing project. We pay the interest.
“We are also doing N5 billion for ginger production in Kaduna. We have putting N5 billion to triple ginger production, we have the best ginger in the world.”