Small and artisanal miners are yet to benefit from a federal government intervention fund warehoused with the Bank of industry (BOI), Shehu Sani, President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has disclosed.
Sani who was speaking Tuesday at the ongoing 3rd Annual Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja, said a chunk of the N30 billion federal government intervention fund was given to the BOI from which small miners are supposed to benefit
“But not a single miner has benefited from this facility based on the requirements, whereas farmers have accessed it and are using it to expand their businesses but that can’t be said in the area of mining,” he lamented.
Sani who was speaking on expectations and practical interventions to support the mining industry, said to facilitate miners access to the facility, the minister of Mines and Steel Development has approved for the Miners Association to guarantee its members.
“We expect that in the next six months the issue will be resolved with BOI so that small scale miners can access the fund. This will even benefit the government as it will improve revenue to government through payment of royalty and ground rent among others” Sani said.
Speaking further, he said there was the need to strategically plan the sectors development, with particular focus on lead and lithium.
According to Sani if properly planned and developed it could translate to safer energy for the country as well as attract battery manufacturers to Nigeria as lead and lithium are the critical component in battery manufacturing.
He also used the opportunity to call for the establishment of a minerals oriented port in other parts of the country so as to ease the congestion at the Lagos port.