By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State has disclosed that the state was collaborating with NEXIM Bank to improve the non-oil sectors.
According to Mr Abubakar, the state government and the bank is looking at how to explore opportunities in export-oriented investments in agro-processing, solid minerals and solid minerals.
He further disclosed that both parties are brainstorming on how to utilise the N500billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) and the N50 billion Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (ERRF).
In order to make this achievable, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of NEXIM Bank, Mr Bashir Wali, met with the Governor recently to study the state’s resources.
Mr Abubakar told his guest that Bauchi State covers a total land area of 49,259.01 square kilometres which represents about 5.3 per cent of Nigeria’s total land mass, making it one of the largest states in the country.
The Governor explained further that agriculture is the mainstay of over 80 per cent of people who reside in both urban and rural areas with products ranging from maize, rice, millet, groundnut and guinea corn.
Additionally, cattle and other livestock are reared at a commercially viable level.
In terms of solid minerals, the governor indicated that the state has commercial mineral reserves comprising of Amethyst, Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Uranium, Limestone, Kaolin, Gypsum, Antimony, Iron Ore, Gold, Marble, Columbite and zinc, precious stones like Sulphur, Amities and Aquamarine among others.
In addition to this, Bauchi has a manufacturing sector covering Iron and Steel, Water, Ceramics, Food and Beverages etc.
According to Mr Abubakar, Bauch State has not been able to explore its mineral resources due to licensing issues, considering that solid minerals is on the exclusive list.
He also stated that the paucity of data in terms of certification of available deposits; and the need to efficiently organise artisanal mining as well as establish beneficiation centres to boost the solid mineral value-chain in the State are other problems facing the state.
In his remarks, Mr Wali told the Governor that the bank would look at how to assist the state.