The Federal Government yesterday said it is planning to assemble a US$600 Million investment fund to finance solid mineral sector as one of the drives to boost the nation’s economy.
Besides, the government said it secured a US$150 million loan from the World Bank to commence the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (Mindiver) Project aimed at funding strategic interventions in the sector.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Solid Minerals, revealed these in Lagos at a workshop on ‘Contemporary Community Engagement Models in the Oil and Gas Sector-Lessons for Other Sectors’ organized by New Nigeria Foundation.
He revealed that his Ministry is working with entities such as the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and others for the investment fund.
He added that the development is a considerable departure from the past, judging by the fact that in 2015, out of the meager N1 billion capital budget allocated to the ministry, only N352 Million was released.
The Minister, who was represented at the event by O’Seun Odewale, said his ministry achieved a 300percent increase in revenue (royalties and fees) between 2015 and 2016.
“As at July this year, the sector had already surpassed the entire revenue of N2 billion generated for the whole of 2016. Also, as at the end of September 2017, our Mining Cadastre Office has remitted more revenue than the total receipts in 2016″, he added.
He said the institutional capacities of the ministry and its agencies have been strengthened to effectively regulate the sector, with a particular focus on mines safety and security.
He added that a new partnership has been forged with the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to establish the Mining Police as provided in the law.
In his remarks, Prof. Femi Ajibola, Managing Director of New Nigeria Foundation (NNF), said that the federal and state governments are currently laying lots of emphasis on the development of the solid mineral sector.
He added that the sector can use the lessons learnt from the experience of the oil and gas sector in company-community engagement and avoid the problems earlier experienced in the oil and gas sector.
interest of NNF in Company-Community relations hinges on our belief that ownership of mineral resources can be looked upon as joint-the people on whose soil it is found and the legal entities in whose trust the resources are kept.
‘’Therefore, the logical and moral expectation is that the exploitation of these resources will be of obvious benefit to all legitimate owners. The major stakeholders in the mining industry include mining companies, federal government, state government, local government and the communities endowed with the resources’’, the Minister said.topics from