Vanguard (Lagos)

10 September 2012

Nigeria: Minister Explains Whereabouts of N650 Million Meant for Lead Poison Victims

Abuja — Malam Musa Sada, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, on Monday denied the allegation that the N650 million meant to assist Zamfara State lead poison victims by the Federal Government had been embezzled.

Sada denied this allegation in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the matter.

According to him, the ministry applied for N650 million to the Federal Government so as to assist the victims but that this money had not been released to his ministry even though it received the Federal Government's approval.

Sada assured that whenever this money was released the ministry would make judicious use of it to the victims.

He also debunked the allegation by some people that the ministry did not do anything to assist the 150 lead poison victims who died in Zamfara state since 2010 .

He said that as soon as this incident happened, the ministry inaugurated a three-man committee to investigate it and submit its report to the ministry for appropriate action.

Sada explained that he also informed the Federal Executive Council of this incident and Mr president constituted a committee made up of the minister of finance, environment, and himself as the chairman to find out the cause of the incident.

Represented by Mr Linus Awute, Sada said that the ministry also had attracted some world bodies such as World Bank, WHO, and other international NGOs on the victims' plight.

He said the ministry also organised them into cooperative societies to be able to obtain loans from banks and ensure that a more scientific system of mining was imbibed by the victims of lead poison.

Sada said the ministry has also provided some facilities to aid the mining artisans in their activities.

NAN

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