FG Registers 700 Artisanal Miners
By Dipo Olowookere
No fewer than 700 artisanal and small scale miners have been registered into licensed cooperatives by the federal government.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Abubakar Bwari, at a media briefing held in Abuja last week.
According to him, the registration of all informal miners in the country was to enhance their growth and development in a structured manner and spur productivity and job creation in the mining sector.
“Our goal is to ensure we register all the informal miners, so that we can easily monitor their activities and also collect their royalties for their contribution to the federal government’s revenue.
“We have the potential in this sector in such a way that we can create jobs for our people because all the 774 local governments has mineral products that can be extracted.
“All we need to do is to identify those materials and engage those miners and I believe mining can take Nigeria where it’s supposed to be in the committee of nations and we need to do that responsibly,” Mr Bwari said.
The Minister said further that the profiling was also to allow government give financial backing to the licensed small scall miners.
The Minister informed newsmen that government has set aside N5 billion to support artisanal and small scale miners in the country and that they can access the money by approaching the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Mr Bwari said a certified artisanal and smale scale miners can access between N10 million and N100 million from the BoI with a low interest of five percent.