… seeks establishment of solid minerals bank
By Palma Ileye
Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, on Wednesday, has called on Federal Government to accord the Solid Minerals sector similar attention and funding models as applied to Agricultural sector.
The association said that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MMSD, should catalyze the process of overhauling the extant legal and regulatory frameworks with the view to removing the multiplication of control and taxation by all tiers of Government, inhibiting the growth and development of the sector.
Acting National President of MAN, Alh. Musa Muhammad, who disclosed this in Abuja, at the press briefing, asked the construction works on the Mineral buying clusters be expedited to give effect to the recent policy on value addition to Nigeria minerals before export.
Muhammad noted that while the association consents to the notion and reality of the embarrassing trends of national security and the dire need to combat it headlong, especially as the sector feels the heat of insecurity more than any other sectors, it was important for the public to know that the mining was neither a precursor to national security nor its sustainer.
He said: “The following prayers as panacea to some of the aforementioned challenges, the Remote Sensing and Monitoring Systems, an initiative launched in February 2020 by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, should be considered for implementation and installation in all mining locations.
“The initiative be concretized through a multi-agency approach by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Miners Association of Nigeria.
“More digitized surveillance system for advance warnings, via continuous monitoring, be procured with adequate administrative and security personnel to enforce compliance with various regulatory policies and security protocols.
“That the ban on mining activities in Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States be reversed so that licensed mine owners will relocate to their mines and team with our security agencies to combat the bandits feasting on their legitimate concessions.
“ASM Department be empowered with personnel and logistics to provide the extension services as provided in section 91 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007. That under an Executive Order, foreign nationals be prevented from entering mining sites during this period of National Security Emergency.
“Government, through the funding agencies, should engage Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, to review the conditions to access the various intervention facilities meant for the sector by the intended small-scale operators or unlock them to facilitate the equipment leasing gaps in the identified mining clusters as a backward integration strategy for the established mining cluster buying centers.
He also called on the government as a matter of national urgency, to convoke a high powered conference, under the auspices of the Raw Materials Development and Research Council, to deliberate and recommend the quickest means to localize industrial revolution that will fast track economic recovery.
In his remarks, National Publicity Secretary of Association, Mr. Tope Adebanjo, said: “We need a bank that can give us loan access, the foreigners for example come into the these country much with or no interest into the country mining sector.
“Going by the exchange rate bringing one million dollar is not a different their that translate into about 3.7 trillion naira, how many banks in Nigeria can give a miner about 700 million naira? So we implores the federal government of Nigeria for a solid minerals bank. Because if you look at the situation of mining in Nigeria what we are doing now is fast finding specifically mining is exploration.
“It took Segilola almost 10-15 years to explore gold. So exploration is the real thing not fact finding most Miner’s are fact funders, they go into the mining sites by luck and when they get it the next stage is to process. We need federal government to establish solid minerals Bank, that is the way forward,” he said