FG procures N400mn vehicles to intensify monitoring of mining activities
by YANGE IKYAA, Abuja
December 19, 2016 | 4:50 pm| | | Start Conversation
The Federal Government on Monday unveiled and commissioned a fleet of project vehicles which, it said, were procured to help intensify its surveillance activities of the mining sector, with a view to further expanding the scope of its contribution to the Nigerian economy.
“The purchase of this fleet of 38 field vehicles has cost the government over N400 million, which is no small expenditure in view of competing priorities,” said Kayode Fayemi, the minister of mines and steel development, while commissioning the vehicles.
The field vehicles are to be used by the zonal and federal mines officers in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Fayemi called said the occasion was historic because this is the first time in the history of this ministry that such a large fleet of field vehicles would be procured for deployment at once.
“By procuring these vehicles we have successfully addressed the challenge of the absence of logistical support for field operations of the technical departments of the Ministry. This progress will result in scaling up the capacity of the departments for the effective discharge of their statutory duties and functions” he added.
According to him, the execution of this vehicle procurement project is therefore a clear demonstration of the commitment of this administration to our strategic goal of repositioning the mining sector for greater productivity.
This is considering the minister’s repeated assertion that “one of our objectives is to strengthen our ministry with the requisite capacity and capabilities to deliver on our mandate to effectively regulate the sector,” hence the government’s current undertaking of this heavy investment in tools and logistics required for field inspection and monitoring of mining operations.
The overall purpose is to ease mobility, enhance in-field analysis and facilitate effective discharge of mines inspectorate services, and other regulatory duties of the technical departments of the ministry.
With this expenditure undertaken, the minister said he expects to see increased output in the mining sector, such as prompt monitoring of all mining/quarrying operations to assess mineral production and serve demand notices for royalty payment due to Government, as well as close monitoring of artisanal and small scale mining operations by mines artisanal officers to provide extension services to the operators, for safer and increased mineral production.
Other outcomes anticipated included closer monitoring and effective enforcement of compliance by mining operators, in line with environmental requirements and obligations, routine inspection of mines and quarries to enforce compliance by operators with health and safety regulations, closer surveillance of the mines fields to identify and curbing of illegal mining activities by making appropriate reports.
It is also expected that there will be prompt resolution of conflicts arising from mining activities, and closer monitoring of the manufacture, importation, transportation, storage, and usage of high explosives.
Fayemi said, beginning from January next year, I expect to start seeing the positive impact of this investment in terms of increased revenue generation, reduction in the number of illegal mining incidences, fewer cases of conflicts arising from mining activities, and timely rendering of periodic reports of mining activities from your respective stations.
He urged relevant officers in the ministry to use the vehicles strictly for the official duties they are meant for.
“I must warn that for no reason should the vehicles be used for unofficial purposes except with express approval, the minister advised, stating further that “consequently, any officer that runs afoul of the ethical use of the vehicles shall be dealt with in accordance with relevant Civil Service Rules (CSR).”
In order to discourage arbitrary use of the vehicles for purposes other than the discharge of official duties, the vehicles have been installed with tracking devices that will enable the ministry monitor their movements centrally from Abuja.
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