Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege has asked for the rationale behind the sale of a bar of gold to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at N5 billion by the Zamfara State Government.
Omo-Agege faulted the deal on Wednesday while contributing to a debate on the 2021 Appropriations Bill during Senate plenary.
The Deputy Senate President said the arrangement smacked of injustice and double standard given that proceeds of oil, the mainstay of the country’s economy is paid to the federal account.
He said his constituents, the Niger-Delta people were worried about this development adding that money from gold sale ought to be remitted to the federation account and not credited to the account of the Zamfara State government.
The Senator said: “There is also something that is troubling our people which I think I should also bring up here.
“It is clear that the only two sources identified in the budget for the funding of the budget is the revenue from oil on the most part and borrowings, both local and foreign.
“But, we also have other sources or potential sources of revenue that is not being looked at.
“We often talk of leakages (in the system) but why even go into leakages when we can go directly to the solid mineral sector?
“Not too long ago, we saw the Governor of Zamfara State 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. 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.
“There are two problems with that. We believe that whatever revenue that ought to come from that transaction belong to the entire country and not belonging to the state government.
“That is number one and 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 borrowing.”