press conference in Abuja ahead of the 4th Annual Nigeria Mining Week coming up this month

Nigeria To Hold 4th Annual Mining Week

10 October 2019 National News News

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, says miners in the country are yet to access the N2,6 billion mining fund.

Adegite made this known during a press conference in Abuja ahead of the 4th Annual Nigeria Mining Week coming up this month.

He said the Solid Mineral Development Fund, SMDF, seed fund, the $2.5 billion that was given in 2016, was to help miners to develop the sector.

Adegbite explained that for three years now the money has not been disbursed, but the good thing is that the money is intact.

The Minister said that though investment into the mining sector requires some level of patience, adding that if the potential in the sector are properly harnessed, they will not only contribute immensely to the revenue of the country but positioned Nigeria in the global mining map.

He assured investors and intending investors in the sector that the ministry will give them enabling environment to operate.

According to him the greater part of Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF) has not being accessed by operators due to noncompliance with the laid down requirements for the assessment.

He said that artisanal miners have been advised to group themselves into cooperative organizations for easy accessibility to the fund.

The minister who further explained that the N2.5 billion is with the Bank of Industry, added that the Bank is expected to match that fund with another N2.5 billion to sum it to N5 billion to boost the sector.

He reiterated Federal Government commitment to deepen the annual Nigeria Mining Week for better performance and impact on the nation’s mining industry.

The Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah in his welcome remarks assures the Miners that since the two ministers assumed office, they have been busy collating developmental ideas that would assist in moving the sector much greater than the way they met it.

He informed them that after the mining week, the ministry will come out with a blue print on how to move the sector to a higher level in line with the president’s mandate.

Earlier the President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Kabiru Kankara thanked the ministers for immeasurable support and encouragement giving to the association to organize this year’s Mining Week.

He said that what informed the origin of the Mining Week which first edition started in 2016 was the need for stakeholders to come together, woo investors, showcase their product and brainstorm with the intention to position Nigeria mining sector to an enviable position in the world mining map.

He said that so far investors from 22 countries have indicated interest to participate in the exhibition/ conference.

According to him this year’s mining week will center on security in the sectors, future mining, Nigeria mining moving with global trend among others.

The 4th Nigerian Mining Week is expected to attract over 1, 200 mining experts, 180 mines and exploration companies, 40 sponsors with over 24 countries to be represented.

“The theme, of the mining week is ‘Removing the roadblocks along the value chain: Setting the mining industry as a key driver for economic recovery’, which is being organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN.

Georgina Humphrey/Abuja

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