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MAN Calls For Review Of Mining Development Fund

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The Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, has called for a review of the Nigeria Mining Development Fund to equip local miners.

President of the Association, Mr. Dele Ayanleke made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

Mr. Ayanleke explained that the Fund will better the lot of small scale miners and eradicate poverty.

“I underscored the need for a review of the Nigeria Mining Development Fund to better equip local miners, while at the same time, fighting “poverty which is behind Artisanal mining.” he added.

He also called for increased funding for local miners in Nigeria to enable them compete favourably with foreign companies which he alleged have infiltrated the mining sector with huge cash and better equipment.

The MAN President also stressed the need for a national dialogue on resource control between states and the federal government to address multiple regulations and taxation in the industry.

Ayanleke who noted that Mining falls under the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution lamented that more states are enforcing individual laws thereby creating problems for the industry.

“These state laws contravene “even the Nigerian Mining And Minerals Act.” he stated.

The leader of the advocacy body insisted that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development alone issues major mining leases to expatriate companies, with the small-scale mining leases remaining for local industry players.

According to him, the abuse of this practice has fuelled crises such as insecurity in the northeast and northwest parts of the country.

He called on security agencies and other relevant institutions to come to the aid of local miners whose mining leases are revoked by host communities due to pressure from expatriate companies.

He assured that MAN was poised to reposition the industry while collaborating with government agencies, and other regulatory bodies to tackle the problems bedeviling the mining sector in the country.

Ayanleke emphasized that the mining clusters in the six geopolitical zones of the country, created by President Muhammadu Buhari, if harnessed, would create youth employment and increase government revenue.

The MAN president who also revealed that the clusters would ensure the processing of locally mined raw minerals and add value to gemstones exported from Nigeria lamented that raw gems from Nigeria litter the international market where their “originality is not properly ascribed”.

“developing the centres for better service delivery would boost government revenue, and attract investments in the mining sector”.

He further regretted that “banks in the country do not understand mining and find it difficult to provide funding for local miners to boost their operations”, adding that “financial institutions need to set up mining desks to fund the sector”.

On the fund provided by the Bank of Industry for local business owners, he stressed, “I have not seen anyone who has been given anything by the Bank of Industry. Some of our members have filled out the forms, met the requirements, and have long been waiting for the money. Yet, nothing has come”.

Georgina Humphrey, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Elizabeth David

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