The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on Tuesday commenced a five-day training of 120 local miners from four local government areas in Zamfara on safer and legalised mining
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training in Kaura-Namoda, the State NDE Coordinator, Mr Muhammad Alhassan said the training was organised in collaboration with Sen. Tijjani Yahaya, representing Zamfara North.
Alhassan said the beneficiaries were selected from the Local Government Areas of Zamfara North Senatorial District comprising Kaura-Namoda, Birnin-Magaji, Shinkafi and Zurmi.
He said the Senator was partnering with the NDE to train the local miners from his constituency on safer and legalised mining.
“This is one of NDE partnership with political office holders in line with the Federal Government’s policies of providing employment opportunities among Nigerian youths,” he said.
He noted that Zamfara State possessed 60 per cent of solid minerals in Nigeria but regretted that the majority of them were untapped.
“The discovery of large deposits of solid minerals such as gold, copper, iron ore, tantalite, manganese among others is a great blessing to the state and the country especially in the area of employment and revenue generation.
“The quantity of the deposits are more than 500 locations across the nine states in Nigeria and if well harnessed will compete with oil and gas sector.
“The training, apart from supporting the creation of job opportunities, will also reduce environmental implications associated with illegal mining,” he said.
Alhassan said that the state recorded 163 deaths including 111 children to lead poison as a result of illegal mining in 2010.
“We engaged resource persons from the Federal Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals to deliver various lectures for the participants during the training,” he said.
In his remarks, Yahaya, represented by one of these aides, Alhaji Mukhtar Shikkau, said the training aimed at providing employment opportunities through local mining activities in the state was part of his constituency projects.
“We decided to choose this sector considering the abundant solid and mineral resources in the state.
“In Zamfara, we have a large amount of mineral deposits but a majority of them are not beneficial to our people.
“Our people, especially in the rural communities, have interest in mining activities, ” he said.
Yahaya said they are working in line with the Federal Government policies to ensure that miners in the country complied with the regulations on safer mining for the safety of lives and environment.
“As we know, the Federal Government is persuing with vigour the formalization exercise of miners as well as supporting them with working tools and training on the use of safer mining and processing methods.
“Mining provides employment despite the potential hazard, hence our decision to embark on this training,” he said.