Abuja — The Federal Government has secured a N30 billion loan from the National Resources Intervention Fund to implement the roadmap on mining industry.The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this yesterday at the National Council on Mining.
He said the loan would be used to promote the exploration of new minerals and strengthen the regulatory capacity.He explained: "With this, we have covered a major milestone in the execution of the roadmap for the sector. We remain focused as we look to the future in delivering on all others provision of the document.
"It is however, encouraging that our efforts have started to yield the desired results, through engaging stakeholders and increasing the amount of mining contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP)."
Fayemi stressed that they had achieved a 300 per cent increase in revenue (royalties and fees) between 2015 and 2016, pointing out that as at July 2017, the sector had surpassed the entire revenue of N2 billion generated last year.
On the modified concession on Ajaokuta Steel Company, he explained that government would provide the needed input to support the infrastructure requirements and save $3.3 billion spent yearly on steel importation.
Fayemi lamented that there were still legal matters surrounding the operations of ASCON at Ikot Abasi, adding that the firm would come alive again at the end of year, when all court cases would have been resolved.
He said: "A new partnership has been entered with Ministry of Interior and Nigeria Police Force to establish Mines police and a police commissioner has been appointed for that purpose.
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government was working to improve the engagement of states with minerals and mining sectors, to provide a solid backbone for the manufacturing and industrial economy.