The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says the government has budgeted the sum of N100 million as grants to carry out research in the mining sector in the nation’s universities.
He stated at a valedictory ministerial briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, explained that the programme is aimed at creating innovation hubs nationwide and deepens expertise to grow the sector.
Fayemi, who quit the Federal Executive Council today, added that there are ongoing capacity developments for the staff in South Africa active mine sites, adding, training of security personnel of Presidential Special Mines Surveillance is on.
“We have received a waiver to recruit 53 critical professional, like geologists, inspectors/scientist officers to work in order to meet the projected 9 percent gross domestic products,” he said.
On accessing artisanal small miners N5 billion loans, the minister denied that government is not aware, adding, Bank of Industry, BOI, has criteria to be met before it is given.
According to him, N5 billion is a loan with 5 percent interest, adding, the bank cannot give out the loan because it was not a lottery, and no commercial bank can give its money like this.
On mining sector, Fayemi argued that they have invested a lot of funds in the past two (2) years to ensure that the sector contributes optimally to a strong and virile economy.
He also noted they have contributed to a fight against corruption by identifying and bringing economic saboteurs in the mining industry to book and promote unity within the system.