FG Provides N5b Loan for Small Scale Miners

August 29, 2017
FG Provides N5b Loan for Small Scale Miners

By Dipo Olowookere

A funding support of about N5 billion has been launched by the Federal Government for Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) operations in the country.

The fund was inaugurated on behalf of the FG by the Ministry of Mines & Steel Development and the Bank of Industry (BoI).

While the Mines & Steel Development is committing N2.5 billion to the funding scheme, the BoI is providing the other N2.5 billion.

Speaking at the inauguration, Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Mr Kayode Fayemi, explained that the loan will help local miners and as well boost the country’s economy.

He described the funding support as a lifeline for the mining sector, pointing out that it was coming at the right time, especially when government was making efforts to explore the mining industry as part of its diversification agenda.

“We are in the first instance launching a N5 billion fund. With our ministry’s pilot contribution of N2.5 billion, BOI will match our contribution with another N2.5 billion,” the Minister said.

According to him, the bank will manage the fund and will disburse it to small scale miners dealing with industrial minerals, precious stones, precious metal (gold), dimension stone and others approved by both parties.

Giving an insight on how the loan would be assessed, Mr Fayemi said miners willing to purchase machinery or paying for geological and other services related to mining business can get from N100,000 to N10 million for ASMs and from N10 million to N100 million for small scale mining.

He disclosed that the loans would be made available to certified industry participants at a single digit interest rate of 5 percent per annum.

Managing Director of BoI, Mr Olukayode Pitan, appealed to beneficiaries not to consider the fund as a grant or their idea of national cake, but to ensure that the grant is used judiciously to ensure the development of the sector.

He further urged them to ensure they repay the loan to give others the opportunity to benefit from the scheme.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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