FG takes proactive measure to check mining sector bleeding
Despite the positive statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, said the country lost 9 billion U. S dollars between 2014 and 2015.
Fayemi while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), revealed however stated that there has been significant improvements in industrial contribution after agriculture
The recent reports from the National Bureau for Statistics, (NBS ) shows that 8.97 percent increase with the bulk of the contribution coming from the industry in contributed by “mining and quarry activities”
In the latest reports from the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency initiative, (NEITI ), made it clear that in 2014 and 2015, the country lost to illegal mining operation was somewhere in the region of about $9 billion particularly from gold illegal exportation.
Other areas that had been very attractive to illegal Miners according to the NEITI report, include lead, zinc, tin and coal.
This memo that went to Council requested from Council the approval of the procurement of 50 Hilux Vehicles for the Special Mines Surveillance Task Force to capacitate them in their work to monitor and curb illegal mining activities in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory and then to support the collaboration between the State and federal governments via the Mineral Resources and Environmental Committees that the Mining Act has allowed to set up in all the states.
Federal government had under the 2018 budget and subsequent one ahead said it is targeting greater contributions from the non oil sector, as oil sector income shrinks on the global market.
Fayemi announced that “government approval to the Ministry for procurement of 50 Toyota Hilux Vans for the sum of N987 million at a set piece of about N19.3 million per a vehicle”
The one vehicle per State is described “as overarching framework because Council also underscores the fact that this one vehicle per state cannot solve all the problems but in order to begin to tackle the issues, we need to start from somewhere and ultimately the goal is to ensure that we deploy technology to monitor the illegal activities across the length and breadth of the country and through that capacitate the security services”
BusinessDay sees the Special Mines Surveillance Task Force, which brings together DSS, the Police, the Civil Defence, EFCC and the National Security Adviser’s Office, which was approved by FEC, as having a Herculean, following current unresolved bickering involving the DSS and EFCC.
Fayemi noted that Police have also established Mines Police and we now have a Commissioner of Police in-charge of Mines Police. We have a Commandant from the Civil Defence also exclusively deployed for mines activities.
“This is just for the monitoring and curbing side of that work. The other side of reducing illegal and informal activities is the formalisation of small scale miners and artisan miners and you may all be aware that recently, we placed N5 billion in the Bank of Industry to support the activities of Artisanal and small scale miners to formalise their operations, form into cooperatives and then get more capacitated by government.”
The Minister of Industries Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelemah said FEC also granted approvals for ease of doing business and for the 2nd National Action Plan and the Integrated Operationalization for Executive Order 1 Plan.
The Minister of Water Resources Alhaji Suleman Adamu said council approved 606 million naira to the contractor of the 75km Gurara-Abuja Water pipelines for operating and maintaining it for 8-9 years.
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
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