By Gabriel Ewepu
MINERS under the auspices of Miners Association of Nigerian, MAN, have expressed frustration over high cost of mining equipment due to recession and high exchange rates.
The National President, MAN, Alhaji Sani Shehu, made the disclosure while appraising performance of miners in 2016 and projections of mining activities for 2017 in line with global practices.
Shehu said that the prices of various mining equipment, which include bulldozers, excavators, spare parts and others have doubled by 50 per cent, therefore making it expensive for operators to acquire them for business.
He stated: “The price on mining equipment doubled by 50 per cent. Brand new bulldozer which used to be about N60 million before the recession is now N125 million, a fairly used excavator, which used to be N20 million is now N45 million and on a whole their prices doubled by over 100 per cent. This is because of high exchange rate and most operators in the sector could not afford it.
“Those who have this equipment already could not replace parts of their equipment due to the high cost.”
He further stated that the mechanisation plan to increase production capacity in the sector has suffered setback due to inflation and as a result impacted negatively on their business performance.
“The mechanisation plan to double production has been frustrated by the impact of the recession. It has also slowed down productivity in the sector”, he stated.
While expressing optimism about the sector in 2017, the miners’ boss urged government to implement intervention policies, which include equipment leasing centres, duty free on mining equipment, mineral buying centres, equipping the geosciences laboratory, and others.