By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA—Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, weekend urged the Federal Government to use development banks to disburse the recently approved N30 billion mining intervention fund.
National President of the group, Alhaji Shehu Sani, made the call while reacting to the Federal Executive Council’s approval of the fund for the sector and the impact on operations of mega and small scale miners.
Sani said: “If the Federal Government releases the approved mining fund as announced by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to State House correspondents and the right people are carried along, mining is going to be a vibrant sector that is capable of increasing Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and create massive employment for the people, as well as sustainable revenue generation for the government in terms of foreign exchange.
“I also want to say that if the right people in the industry are targeted, if we have the disbursement of this fund as at when due miners will contribute more to the Nigerian GDP. As it is funding challenge that has been bedevilling the sector in terms of acquiring machineries and all levels of mining activities.”
“With this funding it will help a lot but we advice that the managers of the fund should use development finance institutions and not commercial banks. But I know that commercial banks will be used for eventual disbursement of the fund but have to be guided.
“It is also capable of creating activities in the mining industry. My advice for the government is to have a focus and priority minerals for development. One of such minerals is industrial minerals because they are not difficult to mine, and these include Gypsum, Barite, Kaolin, Copper, Talc, Bauxite, and others.