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  • on 01.10.2015
  • at 01:31 PM
  • by Naomi Cohen

Nig@55: Stakeholders Optimistic About Change In Mining 0

As Nigeria clocks another year and in spite of activities of alleged economic saboteurs, stakeholders in the nation’s mineral and mining sector are optimistic that development of the sector is on-going , even though at a crawly pace.

The years 2014/2015 has seen very little in the development of the sector as a result of the change in government, non-appointment of ministers, poor funding further confounded by the uncontrolled activities of illegal miners who continue to frustrate the efforts of government and legal miners.

In spite of that stakeholders are optimistic that the sector is on the verge of its greatest change and development if the Buhari led government will keep to its promise of diversifying the nation’s mono economy and refocusing on the nations solid minerals.

One factor that has continually retarded development in the sector has been the lack of political will to see to the development of the sector, interestingly a major campaign promise of the Buhari led government is the desire to diversify the Nigerian economy and focus on the nations mining sector among others.

This promise has given stakeholders much hope that given the antecedence of the President and the visible opportunities in the mining sector, Nigeria is on the verge of making progress and seeing great development in the nation’s minerals and mining sector.

For the President, Miners Association of Nigeria Alhaji Sani Shehu, he is optimistic that the sector in the past years had progressed immensely under the previous administration and had seen some improvement even though not as much as stakeholders would love, but he is optimistic that the sector is on the verge of a revolution

According to him “Greater part of the reforms were implemented during Sada’s tenure, such as the autonomy of the Mining Cadastre Office, the development of several Geoscientific data by the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), establishment of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) as well as the sustainable efforts of getting more funding for the sector which the President has advised that the ASMs be captured in a fund managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) for the development Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as funding has remained a challenge in the sector”.

In the words of Alhaji Shehu who commended the efforts of the past administration the sector still needed additional intervention and multiple financial windows to be able to move the industry forward adding that moving the industry effort should be a collective effort of the government, operators, investors and legislators among others.

He maintained that poor funding and poor infrastructure continues to be a challenge to the development of the industry, and that is why the MAN have been talking to the Nigerian Railway Cooperation for easy and cheaper funding of transporting mineral products across the states.

In 2014, a report by the Global rights office had revealed most mining communities were at risk of a repeat Zamfara lead poisoning incidence which took the lives of over 400(and until recently 700) children, unfortunately despite promises, no efforts were put in place to forestall a reoccurrence.

Continue reading on Leadership

by Ruth Tene Natsa

Photo Credit: Flickr/Sixoone (Port Harcourt Refining Ltd in Alesa-Eleme.)

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