Lagos — The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, says the ministry is adopting strategies to organise artisanal miners into cooperatives to enable them benefit from various government programmes, especially in areas of training on safer mining practices and accessing funding.
A statement by Mrs Idowu Jokpeyibo on behalf of the ministry`s Director of Press on Sunday in Abuja, also quoted the minister as saying the Federal Government had created legitimate buying centres to enable miners sell at the prevalent market price to prevent exploitation of small scale miners.
The minister, who disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Mines and Steel, appealed to the committee to assist by increasing funds allocation to the sector.
Adegbite also disclosed that Nigeria was determined to play prominent role in the world mining industry, adding that the ministry had worked out modalities to improve on efforts and legacies of successive ministers.
He noted that the initiatives of past ministers had come into fruition, especially in the establishment of agencies such as Mining Cadastre Office, MCO, and the Nigeria Geological Survey Agencies, NGSA.
The minister said part of the mandate of the ministry was to diversify the economy and tap into the rich mineral resources of the country to create employment and wealth.
He said agencies under the ministry were undergoing reforms to ensure optimal performance, adding that potentials and challenges in the ministry were being identified.
This, the minister said, was to ensure that the agencies performed optimally.
He said the activities of the MCO and NGSA were being computerised to enable investors accessed data on the country`s minerals deposit from any part of the world.