Deputy Senate President queries N5bn Zamfara gold bar ownership
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, has expressed discontentment over Zamfara gold bar worth N5 billion sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He queried why the monies made from crude oil explored from the Niger Delta is going to the federation account why Zamfara is laying claims to the ownership of the gold mined in the state.
Omo-Agege expressed the displeasure during plenary on Wednesday while defending the 2021 Appropriation Bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the Federal Government would be able to tackle budget deficit if resources from the solid mineral sector is effectively controlled.
He said, “We often talk of leakages (in the system) but why even go into leakages when we can go directly to the solid mineral sector?
“Mr. President (of the Senate), not too long ago, we saw the Governor of Zamfara State (Bello Matawalle) come before the CBN to present a gold bar worth close to about N5 billion. 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 a Governor of a state should be selling gold bar from Zamfara to the CBN.”
Omo-Agege posited that whatever revenue coming the transaction should belong to the entire country and not the state government.
“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 this international borrowings,” he added.
Omo-Agege canvassed that headquarters of oil companies exploring in Niger Delta should be located in the region to employment.
He said, “Every day, for those of us who represent the Niger Delta, we hardly sleep. We are very worried of every concern because these are the people – the golden eggs that take care of this economy but they are jobless. There is nothing for them to do. It is very important that the youths of these communities are engaged.